Thursday, February 12, 2015

Summit County Economic Update

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.

Summit County

•    From September 2013 to September 2014, Summit County added 1,065 new jobs for a year-over increase of 4.9 percent. Summit’s labor market continued to exhibit balanced growth with most major industries producing new positions.

•    Accommodations and food services employment increased the most by 224 jobs. Construction grew a healthy 13.7 percent adding 181 new jobs. Local government provided a 6 percent increase of 142 positions, with health care and social services adding 90, at 8.4 percent growth. Professional/scientific/technical grew by 8.9 percent or 88 new jobs.

•    Most other industry subdivisions contributed new positions as economic growth was very broad based.

•    For the year ending in September 2014 there was a net increase of 3.9 percent in firms and worksites within Summit County. This increase of 95 units brought the total count of firms and worksites to 2,535.

•    The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Summit County was 3.1 percent in December 2014, an estimated 716 unemployed workers. A year earlier the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.

•    Employment gains among the majority of Summit County industry sectors are expected to continue. Overall job growth in 2014 was about 1,170 or in the neighborhood of 5.0 percent. This is a pick-up in economic activity from Summit County’s employment growth of 713 in 2013 and 791 new jobs created in 2012.