Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kane County Economic Update

As 2015 progressed, Kane County’s economic indicators continued to register in the healthy zone. In fact, every available indicator points toward an economy in full expansionary mode. Job growth proved moderate. Unemployment rates remained relatively low. New claims for unemployment insurance held to a traditional low seasonal pattern. Construction permitting activity picked up and sales showed robust improvement.

  • Compared to March 2014, Kane County’s March 2015 nonfarm employment increased by 90 positions for a growth rate of 3 percent.
  • Leisure and hospitality services continue to generate the largest number of new jobs with assistance from other services, professional/business services and the public sector.
  • The only industry-level employment contractions of note occurred in healthcare/social services and information.
  • In June 2015, Kane County’s unemployment rate measured 4.2 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from last year.
  • Although the county’s jobless rate has flattened out in recent months, it remains at the lowest level since the beginning of the recession.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance settled into a low seasonal pattern during the first half the summer of 2015.
  • Average wage gains have stalled somewhat with only very marginal gains in recent quarters.
  • For the four quarters ending March 2015, Kane County’s average monthly wage measured more than $2,400.
  • Construction activity took a notable turn for the better in the first five months of the year.
  • The value of all construction permits for January to May 2015 measured 177 percent higher than the same period a year ago.
  • Home permits increased nicely and made up the preponderance of permits although nonresidential permitting also improved.
  • Gross taxable sales increased by a noteworthy 8.5 percent between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015.
  • Much of the sales gain can be traced to strong sales in leisure and hospitality services.