Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cache County Economic Indicators

The Bear River region felt the effects of the downturn starting in 2009, when the labor market shed 3,795 jobs from the previous year. For the next two years, the region lost jobs (though Cache County contracted in 2009 only). The tide turned in 2012 when annual job gains in Cache and Rich counties outweighed job losses in Box Elder County. And while regional momentum continued to build in 2013, Bear River’s year-over growth measured consistently slower than the state average. So far, 2014 appears to be a different story with regional employment outpacing the rest of the state through the first six months of the year.
  • Year-over payroll employment in Cache County grew 3.3 percent in second quarter 2014. The rate of growth was the same for both the goods-producing and the service-providing sectors. Financial activities, leisure/hospitality, professional/business services, and construction all grew faster than 5 percent compared to the previous year, adding a combined 928 jobs over the year.
  • Cache County boasted one of the lowest seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates in the state at 2.7 percent in September. The unemployment rate in the county has measured below 3 percent since March. Such low levels of unemployment are not unheard of in Cache County, but the relatively low rate suggests that the county’s job market is getting considerably more competitive.
  • Average monthly wages in second quarter increased 1.7 percent from 2013. And while Cache County’s wage growth was perfectly aligned with the Utah average, the average monthly wages paid in the county totaled $795 less than Utah’s $3,396 per month.
  • Cache County’s year-over changes in taxable sales increased for the ninth consecutive quarter. Second quarter 2014 taxable sales in the county totaled just over $370 million, an increase of 2.9 percent from second quarter 2013. Manufacturing business investment figures – the sixth largest industry by sales totals – posted the most notable gain of 16.1 percent.
  • In Cache County, 336 homes sold in third-quarter 2014, a decline of 12.5 percent from the previous year. The year-to-date total from 2013 to 2014 indicates that that decline is slightly exaggerated by quarterly volatility, but growth in the housing market seems to be slowing from last year’s pace.