Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kane County Economic Update

In the midst of the vacillating job growth rate common to smaller counties hides a Kane County economic success story. The monthly growth rate may be rather erratic; but overall, the county is creating jobs at a moderate rate and has done so for the past two years. While not all industries share in the economic expansion, the result is still positive. Joblessness appears to have bottomed out at a relatively low level and first-time claims for unemployment insurance show an ordinary seasonal pattern. Also, sales showed a healthy rate of growth. Only volatile construction permitting dropped from last year.

  • Kane County created almost 100 net new jobs between September 2014 and September 2015, expanding the nonfarm jobs total by about 3 percent. 
  • The tourism-driven leisure and hospitality services industry took top honors for job creation and was aided by professional/business services, other services and financial activities. 
  • Slight employment losses occurred in manufacturing, wholesale trade and healthcare/social services. 
  • In December 2015, Kane County’s jobless rate measured 4.1 percent, down slightly from the previous year. 
  • Consistent job growth and a virtually unchanging jobless rate suggest the county’s labor market is in balance, creating enough new jobs for entrants and re-entrants. 
  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance produced a typical seasonal increase as 2015 came to a close. 
  • In 2015, the seasonal leisure and hospitality services industry generated the largest number of new unemployment insurance claims. 
  • Average monthly wages for nonfarm employment continue to slowly increase. Compared to the third quarter of 2014, the average monthly wage in third quarter 2015 increased by more than 4 percent. 
  • A slowdown in construction permitting in the final months of the year resulted in a decline in total values. 
  • Overall, permit values are down 23 percent when the first 11 months of 2014 and 2015 are compared. 
  • The number of new home permits dipped by 65 percent. 
  • Kane County’s gross taxable sales increased by a vigorous 7 percent between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015. 
  • Strong gains in retail trade coupled with improved sales at eating/drinking establishments pushed up the third quarter totals.