Weber County Ends 2014 with Strong Economic Performance
By Matt Schroeder
Weber County ended 2014 with signs of deepening economic strength and vitality. Wages, which have been slow to keep up with the rest of the recovering labor market, finally turned a corner. A considerable uptick in construction permits reveals positive expectations for housing demand. Taxable sales were up more than 5 percent with particular strength in retail markets suggesting that consumer confidence continues to build. Motor vehicle sales were particularly strong thanks in part to falling oil prices. Unemployment continues to fall and initial unemployment insurance claims are back to pre-recession levels. Employment growth was consistent and broad based. Overall, the roots of recovery appear to be firmly set in the region and Weber County’s economic performance at the end of 2014 leaves continued-optimism for 2015 as the rational expectation.
Morgan County Ends 2014 with Strong Economic Performance By Matt Schroeder
Morgan County ended 2014 on a very positive note. Employment grew at a faster rate than any other county in the state, and wages, which have been slow to keep up with the rest of the recovering labor market, picked up considerably. Taxable sales were up 26 percent. Unemployment was the second lowest in the state and initial unemployment insurance claims are back to pre-recession levels. Overall, the roots of recovery appear to be firmly set in the region and Morgan County’s economic performance at the end of 2014 leaves continued-optimism for 2015 as the rational expectation.
Davis County Ends 2014 with Strong Economic Performance
By Matt Schroeder
Davis County ended 2014 with healthy labor market expansion and indications of demand-side improvement. Wages, which have been slow to keep up with the rest of the recovering labor market, finally turned a corner. Taxable sales were up almost 7 percent with particular strength in motor vehicles thanks in part to falling oil prices. Unemployment continues to fall and initial unemployment insurance claims are near pre-recession levels. Employment growth was consistent and relatively broad based. Overall, the roots of recovery appear to be firmly set in the region and Davis County’s economic performance at the end of 2014 leaves continued-optimism for 2015 as the rational expectation.
New three-page snapshots contain narrative at the bottom for more perspective of the data in a monthly look at
employment, unemployment, wages construction, and sales for each county in
Utah. (Some data updated less frequently, as available.)
For the latest economic snapshot for your county, check out the updated files on our website for Davis, Morgan and Weber counties.
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The Rob Lowe quote is designed to be humorous. Is the best way to get answers about an entire population to not question the entire population but instead only part of it?
When we hear “census,” we often think of the once-every-ten-year questioning as mandated by the Constitution. In that context though, we often think of “census” as an event instead of what it is—an enumeration.
A census targets an entire population. In contrast, if that is impractical or impossible, then a smaller portion (a survey) of the population needs serve as a viable substitute. Rob Lowe’s humor stems from the idea that when we do the national decennial Census, much of the data comes from a survey. To him, that is an oxymoron...
The Wasatch Front
North Edges Ever Closer to Full Recovery
Post-recession economic recoveries are long and arduous
processes no matter what, but recessions involving financial crises are
historically even slower.Utah and the
Wasatch Front North have been plugging along steadily for the last few years
recovering jobs at an average rate of 2 to 3 percent per year and reaching a
point where most counties have surpassed pre-recession levels.Yet economists still talk in terms of
recovery rather than in terms of normal economic expansion.Why is that?How do we know when the recovery is complete?
There are a variety of indicators that economists look at
when determining the relative progress of a recovery.One important one is the unemployment
rate.When the unemployment rate
bottoms-out (i.e. when it stops falling), it may be a sign that labor markets
have reached a “natural” or stable state, and thus recovered.In the Wasatch Front North, the unemployment
rate fell 0.6 percentage points from December 2013 to December 2014, indicating
that the recovery may not yet be complete, but it continues to edge ever closer.
maintained steady, but relatively lackluster, employment growth of 2.2 percent
year-over-year in the third quarter adding 2,076 jobs.Manufacturing, construction, and professional
and business services were the largest contributing industries adding 516, 469,
and 487 jobs respectively, while government was a drag on employment growth
with losses of 282 jobs since the third quarter last year.
unemployment rate in Weber County fell slightly to 3.9 percent in December 2014,
the first time it’s been below 4.0 percent since the third quarter 2008.The rate has fallen almost 0.7 percentage
points since the same time last year, but remains higher than the state
unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.
number of initial unemployment claims filed per week in the fourth quarter of
2014 was 182 claims, about 75 fewer claims than the fourth quarter 2013 weekly
average of 257 claims.
labor market continues to tighten, average monthly wages are still slow to pick
up coming in at 1.7 percent year-over-year growth in the third quarter 2014.Weber County is in keeping with the
average wage growth for the state which was 1.6 percent.The average monthly wage in the third quarter
was $3,103, not too far off from the state average of $3,429.
industries have average wages that are comparable to the state level averages,
but the wholesale trade and the professional, scientific, and technical
services industries in Weber County have average monthly wages that come in
well under the state level averages by 23 percent and 27 percent less respectively.
sales in the third quarter reached $960 million in Weber County, for an
increase of 6.6 percent over the same quarter last year.The manufacturing industry and the retail
motor vehicles industry were the largest contributors each adding nearly $9
million in taxable sales compared to the third quarter 2013.