Thursday, October 22, 2015

Iron County Economic Update

Although Iron County’s recent moderate job growth may not seem particularly exciting, it does mark almost two full years of steadily increasing employment. In addition, most major industries participated in the expansion. Jobless rates have flattened out so far this year, but remain relatively low as do first-time claims for unemployment insurance. Construction permitting continued to improve in both the residential and nonresidential sectors while gross taxable sales showed robust increases. All in all, Iron County’s indicators suggest the area is economically healthy.

  • On a year-to-year basis, Iron County’s nonfarm employment increased by roughly 490 jobs and 3 percent in June 2015.
  • Healthcare and social services made the strongest job contributions followed by the public sector.
  • In addition, retail trade, construction, manufacturing and leisure/hospitality services all generated noticeable gains.
  • Mining (which includes sand and gravel pits) showed the only job losses worth mentioning.
  • Iron County’s unemployment rate measure 4.4 percent in September 2015, virtually unchanged from a year ago.
  • While there is no definitive “full employment unemployment rate,” Iron County certain appears to be in range of that goal.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance continued at a low seasonal level as autumn began.
  • The area’s average monthly wage continued to ever so slowly creep upward. The housing market appears to be healing.
  • In the first seven months of the year, new home permits are up 17 percent from the same time frame in 2014.
  • New permits for solar projects helped new nonresidential construction show a hearty 180-percent year-to-date gain.
  • Sales rebounded nicely from a dip earlier in the year.
  • Between the second quarters of 2014 and 2015, Iron County’s sales grew by 9 percent.
  • Wholesale trade, retail trade and food services all assisted the overall improvement.