Economic Summit: Job Growth Expected

ST. GEORGE – Regional Economist Lecia Langston addressed today’s Washington County Economic Development Council’s Economic Summit by stating that Washington County is behind the rest of the state and the nation when it comes to new job growth. However, she added that things are looking up.

“You make a bigger mess and it takes longer to clean up,” she said to the packed room of business owners and residents.

Langston said that while the unemployment rate remains high, it is only one indicator of how the economy is doing, and her projections show that things are looking up. The unemployment rate is not a foretelling of the future, she said, rather a result of the past.

She said that although December’s numbers are not in yet, she expects to see some job growth.

Last year, the retail trade industry lost the most of amount of jobs, she said, even more than the construction industry. At the end of the year, the largest growth was in businesses services and temporary positions.

Things are looking up in the construction industry, as well, she said. Although Washington County currently has the highest amount of homeowners in the state who are 90 days or more delinquent on their house payment, Washington County also saw an increase in building permits for new homes at the end of 2010. The city of Washington had the largest increase in new permits, she said.

Email jwatkins@stgnews.com

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