By Matt Schroeder
Davis County was strong out of the gate in early 2015. Job growth was robust and broad-based. Taxable sales were up 9.5 percent with particular strength in motor vehicles. Unemployment remains low and initial unemployment insurance claims are near pre-recession levels. Overall, the indicators are reaffirming that the long term trajectory of economic performance for the county is positive.
- Davis County added 4,305 new jobs at a year-over rate of 3.9 percent in March 2015, contributing nearly 9 percent of 48 thousand new jobs created in Utah since March 2014.
- Job growth was broad based across most industries in March 2015 for Davis County. Construction, manufacturing, retail trade, warehousing, accommodations\food services, and private education were all notable contributors.
- Private education services, in particular, showed impressive growth of more than 18 percent and contributed 8 percent of the total job gains for the county despite accounting for less than 2 percent of total employment.
- Davis County’s unemployment rate held flat at 3.3 percent in June 2015. This is 0.3 percentage points below the June 2014 rate and slightly below the state average of 3.5 percent.
- Initial claims for unemployment insurance averaged about 115 per week as of mid-July 2015 in Davis County. The levels are continuing to approach pre-recession levels which in 2007 were about 100 per week at the same time of year.
- Davis County wages slowed slightly to 3.0 percent year-over growth in Q1 2015 but is outpacing statewide wage growth of 1.8 percent and at $3,465 per month is closing the gap on the statewide average of $3,590.
- Since the recession, wages have been slow to recover, so better-than- average wage growth is welcome news but in Q1 2015 wage gains were relatively concentrated in just a couple of major sectors including finance, and management of companies.
- Residential construction activity picked back up through May 2015, a 7.4 percent YTD increase over 2014. The value of nonresidential construction permits also grew significantly at 68 percent compared to the same time-frame in 2014.
- Taxable sales in Davis County accelerated to 9.5 percent year-over in Q1 2015, reaching more than $1.1 billion.
- The retail motor vehicles industry was the largest contributor to growth with more than $18 million in additional taxable sales compared to Q1 2014.
- General merchandise retail stores and wholesale of durable goods were also notable contributors, increasing sales by $7.8 and $7.0 million respectively compared to Q1 2014.