Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kane County Economic Update

The first few months of 2016 found Kane County generating a second straight quarter of exceptional job growth. This expansion is not a one-industry wonder with many sectors joining the job creation party. However, despite employment expansion and the lack of unseasonal unemployment insurance claims activity, joblessness has edged up slightly. This conundrum suggests that workers are entering and re-entering the labor market creating a short-term swell in the jobless rate. Gross taxable sales certainly fell in line with employment showing robust expansion. When taken in concert, the county’s indicators point to a strong, well-functioning economy.
  • Between March 2015 and March 2016, Kane County added 250 new jobs for a robust growth rate of 8.5 percent. 
  • A spurt in new accommodations jobs helped push up leisure/hospitality services jobs up by 11 percent. 
  • Construction, manufacturing, retail trade and financial activities also contributed to the overall improvement. 
  • No Kane County industry experienced a significant employment loss in first quarter 2016. As in many Utah counties, joblessness in Kane County has crept up in recent months. 
  • Nevertheless, at 4.3 percent (June 2016), the county’s unemployment rate remains low. 
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance seem to be following a seasonal pattern with no cyclical disturbances. 
  • The seasonal leisure/hospitality services industry has generated the highest number of new claims so far in 2016. 
  • The area’s average monthly nonfarm wage showed little year-to-year improvement in the first quarter of 2016. 
  • However, wages have trended upward since the recession and should continue to do so. 
  • Current construction data for Kane County is not available. 
  • First quarter 2016 sales outpaced first quarter 2015 sales by about 10 percent. 
  • Expansion in accommodations sales proved a major mover and shaker in sales expansion.