Monday, November 24, 2014

Uintah County Economic Indicators

The Uintah Basin region felt the effects of the downturn starting in 2009, when the labor market shed 2,626 jobs from the previous year. Overall, 2010 also brought job losses, though by the end of the year Uintah and Duchene counties began adding jobs at a substantial rate. The tide really turned during the next two years when the region added over 3,300 payroll jobs. Year-over growth rates were 7.5 percent and 7.8 percent in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2013 however, the Uintah Basin lost momentum, and employment contracted slightly. So far, this year appears to be a reversal of last year’s trend with second quarter employment growth outpacing the state average.
  • Year-over payroll employment in Uintah County grew 2.2 percent in second quarter 2014. Growth was driven by the goods-producing industries, which increased 5.3 percent. Mining and construction employment both grew almost 6 percent from the previous year, adding a combined 239 jobs over the year.
  • Like Duchesne County, Uintah County boasted one of the lowest seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates in the state at 2.9 percent in September. The number of unemployed worker in the county has fallen by 100 people over the last 12 months to 525. As the amount of readily available labor dissipates, businesses will find it more difficult to fill open positions.
  • Average monthly wages in the second quarter increased 3.3 percent from 2013. Uintah County’s wage growth was nearly double the Utah average during second quarter 2014, and the average monthly wages paid in the county were $450 more than Utah’s $3,396 per month. The majority of that difference can be linked to high paying jobs for oil and gas workers.
  • Uintah County’s year-over changes in taxable sales decreased for the sixth time in seven quarters, though the decline was less than 1 percent. Second quarter 2014 taxable sales in the county were just over $361 million, compared to $363 million in second quarter 2013. Wholesale trade of durable goods – the second largest industry by sales totals – lost $5.9 million.
  • In Uintah County, 176 homes sold in third quarter 2014, an increase of 25.7 percent from the previous year. The year-to-date total from 2013 to 2014 indicates that that surge in sales is slightly exaggerated by quarterly volatility, but housing market transactions seem to be trending.