Jim Robson, Economist
Low Unemployment and Sustainable Growth
Economic conditions in the Mountainland Economic Service Area (Utah, Juab, Wasatch and Summit Counties) are bright with strong year-over job growth of 4.2 percent, or 9,890 new jobs from September 2013 to September 2014. This is a bit of a slowdown from 2013, when average payroll job growth in the region was a very rapid 5.2 percent above the average level of employment in 2012. There have been job increases in most major industry sectors with particular strength among professional/technical services, wholesale and retail trade, construction, food services and health care.
Utah, Summit, Wasatch and Juab Counties’ sustainable job growth and favorable labor market conditions persisted through the end of 2014 and are continuing into 2015. By December of 2014, the unemployment rate in Mountainland declined to a very favorable rate of 3.3 percent. A year ago the regional unemployment rate was 3.8 percent. Based on the strength of employment growth in recent years, job opportunities and low unemployment will continue to characterize this area. Job growth for 2015 will likely climb between 3.7 to 4.3 percent.
• In the year ending September 2014, Juab County had a total of 3,379 nonfarm payroll jobs, 6 more than in September 2013.
• Industry sectors that had significant job reductions were construction (-80), professional/scientific/technical (-25), and transportation (-10). The decline in construction was a result of reduced commercial construction activity.
• Significant new positions were added by manufacturing (+36), health care/social assistance (+21), local government (+16), and food services (+12).
• For the year ending in September 2014 there was a net decrease of 2.1 percent in firms and worksites within Juab County. This reduction of 6 units brought the total count of firms and worksites to 274.
• In December 2014, the unemployment rate in Juab County was estimated to be 3.8 percent, down from 4.8 percent in December 2013. An estimated 164 workers were unemployed in December compared to 213 a year earlier.
• Average annual job growth in 2013 was 6.3 percent or 193 new jobs above 2012. The 2014 preliminary annual average estimate indicates that Juab County had net job reductions of about 47 positions, a loss of 1.4 percent.