Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beaver County Economic Update

In the past decade, Beaver County’s economic indicators have often been subject to the comings and goings of large construction projects. While new construction jobs do play a part in the recent economic good news, strong expansion can be found throughout most of the labor market. Robust employment growth is complimented by low unemployment and first-time claims for unemployment insurance show no out-of-the-ordinary changes. Permits for several large solar projects drove construction permit values into the stratosphere and home permits have surged as well. Gross taxable sales gains remain strong, painting an overall picture of economic health in Beaver County.

  • Beaver County’s nonfarm employment jumped up by almost 7 percent between September 2014 and September 2015 with the net addition of 155 jobs.
  • Most industries experienced strong growth. The remaining sectors showed little change.
  • Leisure/hospitality services, construction, professional business services and mining and manufacturing all added at least 20 positions each. 
  • Construction employment should continue to swell in upcoming months as building of the solar projects ramps up. 
  • As in many Utah counties, Beaver County joblessness has changed little over the past year and remains virtually unchanged from a year ago. 
  • In December 2015, the unemployment rate measured a low 3.6 percent, certainly in the range of full-employment. 
  • In the final weeks of 2015, first-time claims for unemployment insurance appear to be following a seasonal uptick. 
  • Construction, leisure/hospitality services and mining generated the highest number of claims in 2015. All have seasonal components. 
  • Excluding the bumps created by large construction projects, Beaver County’s average nonfarm wage has slowly trended upward. 
  • What a difference a few solar construction permits make. In the first 11 months of 2015, nonresidential construction values are up almost 2,200 percent compared with the same time period in 2014. 
  • Residential construction also kept up its end. Compared to 2014, permits are up 80 percent and 
  • Beaver County has produced its best home-building year since 2008. Beaver County turned in another quarter of strong gross taxable sales expansion. Between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015, sales rose more than 8 percent. 
  • Wholesale trade and business investment expenditures in construction, manufacturing and utilities accounted for most of the gain. Retail sales actually slipped slightly in the third quarter.