Weber County added 2,076 jobs in the third quarter of 2014, maintaining steady, but relatively lackluster, employment growth of 2.2 percent year-over-year. 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 2013.
The unemployment rate in Weber County fell slightly to 3.9 percent in December 2014, the first time it’s been below 4 percent since the third quarter 2008. The rate has fallen almost 0.7 percentage points since the same time in 2013, but remains higher than the state unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.
The average 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.
Although the 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.
The average monthly wage in the third quarter was $3,103, not too far off from the state average of $3,429.
Most 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.
Taxable sales in the third quarter reached $960 million in Weber County, for an increase of 6.6 percent over the same quarter the previous 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.
OUTLOOK FOR THE UTAH ECONOMY POSITIVE IN 2015
The 2015 Economic Outlook was released Jan. 14 at the annual Utah Economic Review and includes economic forecasts by a group of leading economists predicting positive performance in 2015. Job growth, income growth and unemployment are all expected to improve over the prior year as Utah continues to outperform national economic conditions.
— Utah Pulse