Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Beaver County Economic Update

Since the end of the recession, Beaver County’s economic story has been dominated the initiation and conclusion of large building projects. Third quarter 2014 followed this pattern as construction employment declines eclipsed other nonfarm job changes. Furthermore, few of the remaining industries stepped up to the job-creation plate and sales plummeted. Fortunately, since most of the workers which completed jobs in the area also left the county, unemployment continued to contract. Overall, the Beaver County must create stable jobs in order to return to full economic health.

  • Between September 2013 and September 2014, Beaver County lost almost 230 nonfarm jobs for a decrease of 9 percent.

  • Construction accounted for the vast majority of vanishing positions. However, leisure/hospitality services also showed a significant job loss. 
  •  Retail trade made the only industry-level employment addition of note. 

  • Despite a contracting employment base, joblessness tapered to a mere 2.9 percent in December 2014—below the statewide average of 3.5 percent. 

  • The lack of claims for unemployment insurance indicates most of the construction workers have left the area which falls in-line with the ever-decreasing jobless rate. 

  • Low unemployment suggests the area is creating enough positions to sustain the current labor force.
  • Gross taxable sales plummeted by 21 percent between the third quarters of 2013 and 2014. However, an unusually large business investment expenditure in 2013 overshadows the more normal 2014 figures. Retail trade sales actually increased.