Region Economist Discusses Recent Trends

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Enjoying lunch brought in from Main Street Grill, Carbon County Chamber of Commerce members listened to some bad news delivered by Workforce Services Regional Economist Eric Markinson. The Ascension St. Matthews Church was the host for the October meeting.

While information told a story about the local economic down turn, the news was not all gloom and doom. Markinson took the floor and gave a brief synopsis of some of the economic trends in both Utah and the eastern Utah region. Most statistics show a recent slight leveling out of the sharp economic slide the area has been experiencing since 2010.

Non-farming payroll showed growth in the area from 2004-10. It peaked in 2010 and has been on a steady downfall since. Markinson attributes that mostly to less investment in the coal industry. The three top areas of employment in this area are: retail, health care and social assistance and education. These areas make up 12% of the economy each. Public administration comes in fourth at 10%. Mining only makes up an additional 9%.

On the bright side, retail trade has been flat but seems to be pushing upward. Heath care and social assistance continues to climb but is expected to slow its growth in the future.

Markinson said there is a lag in the statistics that are available because they are gathered in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The primary source for QCEW data are the reports submitted by employers to the Utah Unemployment Insurance Program.

All the information presented is available on the workforce services website. The link to the labor market statistics is https://jobs.utah.gov/jsp/wi/utalmis/default.do

Van May’s Mays Financial Solutions was honored by the chamber as the business of the month. Mays took a few minutes to talk about his history in the area and the evolution of his business. Ascension St. Matthew’s Pastor, James Drury also took a few minutes to speak about the parish and then introduced USU Eastern coach Adjalma Becheli (coach Vando).

All eyes looked to the rear of the room as Vando recognized each of his basketball players. He invited the crowd to make time this season to come and watch as his team plays head-to-head in one of the top three junior college conferences in the state. Vando also revealed that USU Eastern’s budget is the lowest in the conference by a large deficit, but he still promised that the team would not let that be a barrier to winning.

The next Chamber of Commerce Business-After-Hours will be Dec. 5 from 5:30-7 p.m. Peczuh Printing will host the event.

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