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DWS Data Indicate Expanding Economy in Southeast Region

In general, the latest employment and sales intensity statistics compiled by the Utah Department of Workforce Services paint a steadily improving economic picture for the southeastern region.

Carbon, Emery and Grand counties posted higher than average gross taxable sales intensities, registering at 147 percent, 124 percent and 183 percent respectively, indicated the June 2007 regional report released by the department of workforce services.

But on the opposite end of the spectrum, San Juan posted a low intensity with per capita gross taxable sales only 48 percent of the statewide average.

The general figures believe interesting industry level data, pointed out department of workforce services regional economist Michael Hanni.

In the southeastern region, Carbon appears to have the most balanced economy in terms of sales intensity.

Nearly all of Carbon's industrial sectors showed per capita sales in excess of the statewide figures, keeping with the county's role as a retail and service hub for central Utah, noted Hanni.

Compared with 2005 data, the 2006 fourth quarter results for Carbon County showed a solid 3.2 percent increase in employment, with the addition of 302 jobs, continued the department of workforce services economist.

The bulk of Carbon's employment expansion came from goods producing industries - construction in particular - which added 263 positions during the one-year period between fourth quarter 2005 and fourth quarter 2006.

In addition, the service producing industries operating in the Carbon County area witnessed positive, but less dramatic employment increases.

On the negative side of the ledger, the closures of several manufacturing establishments in Carbon County pushed overall employment in the sector down by 69 positions, indicated Hanni.

In neighboring Emery County, fourth quarter 2006 was relatively quiet.

Emery's year-over employment growth came in at 0.9 percent, adding a total of 36 jobs in the county.

Strong increases in administrative support services and construction were offset by decreases in transportation and utilities employment, explained the department of workforce services economist.

The remaining industrial sectors in Emery County neither gained nor lost significant employment during the 12-month period.

A mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, Grand County posted impressive sales intensities in tourism related industries, noted the department of workforce services economist.

On the other hand, the sales intensities for other industries operating in Grand County posted lower than average rates.

In San Juan County, the tourism related industries like lodging did well, according to the sales data collected by the department of workforce services.

But nearly all other industries operating in San Juan County showed below average per capita sales intensity.

The sales intensity statistics suggest that Grand and San Juan residents are purchasing at least a portion of the goods and services for the local area from locations outside of the two counties, concluded the department or workforce services economist.

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