(Rock County, WI)
According to the quarterly release of the 2016 Rock Ready Index, Rock County’s economy continues to move along is growth-orientated trajectory. Highlights from the Q1 report include the following:
Unemployment Rates, as measured by annual averages, hovered around their lowest rates in a decade. Parity among the MSA, state and national rates between the low-to-mid five percent figure reflects the economy’s overall underlying stable climate. Meanwhile, regional job postings again exceeded the 20,000 mark for 12 out the last 17 quarters. Locally, Rock County’s job market is characterized as both active and aggressive – as documented by the diversity of employment postings that can be found by visiting www.JobsInRockCounty.com.
In response to a strong local economy, the residential market continues to exhibit upward movements. Average price points for Q1 2016 represented the highest rates recorded in nine years. Although sales and listing figures tracked lower than prior quarters, this downward shift is attributed to a depleted housing stock versus a weak economy. Consequently, home builders are responding to this demand – as noted by an uptick in the number of single family home permits that have been issued throughout the Janesville-Beloit MSA.
Local spending for goods and services, as measured by the County’s sales tax collections, remained strong as Q1 2016 set another record by exceeding $3 Million – an increase of nearly 11% from Q1 2015. Since 2014, collections have exceeded the $3 Million threshold six out of nine quarters.
Energy consumption, as measured by the number of meters and usage, continued to exhibit seasonal influences. Despite these weather related impacts, demand across various market segments remained strong.
Lastly, three speculative building projects – two in Janesville and one in Beloit – totaling 355,000 SF are highlighted in the dashboard’s Project Profile section. These announcements are key for two main reasons: (1) these projects will increase the available Class A building inventory within the County, which has been depleted due to strong demand; and (2) it sends a clear message into the marketplace, specifically as it concerns the economic health of the Janesville-Beloit MSA.
The Rock Ready Index (RRI) is a quarterly economic development dashboard compiled and distributed by the Rock County Development Alliance. The RRI covers four topical areas: Workforce (Job Postings and Unemployment Rates), Real Estate (Residential, Commercial or Industrial) Trends, Sales (Tax Collection) Activities and Energy Consumption (Meters & Usage). Each Index also includes a Project Profile section, which highlights project specific news during a given quarter.
For additional information, visit www.RockCountyAlliance.com .