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(Rock County, WI) According to the quarterly release of the 2017 Rock Ready Index, the Janesville-Beloit MSA wrapped-up another strong year. Highlights from the Q4 report include the following:

For the sixth quarter in a row, the average annual Unemployment Rates for the County / State / U.S. remained below five percent. This same trend existed in the help wanted realm too, as regional job openings reached over 30,000 for the sixth consecutive quarter. Once again, job boards throughout the year were dominated by Healthcare, Transportation & Material Moving and Office & Administrative Support job postings. Meanwhile, production related postings during the year – particularly in Rock County – enjoyed a healthy boost. For an overview of the types of jobs available throughout the area, ranging from entry level to upper management, visit www.JobsInRockCounty.com 

Housing prices for Q4 2017 established a new benchmark, with an average sale price of $164,095. As a matter of fact, this price point represents the highest quarterly average recorded by the County.  Despite this price appreciation, Rock County has a significant affordability advantage over its nearest (WI) metropolitan peer. In 2017, the average sale price of a single-family home in Rock County was $157,168, while Dane County’s price point was $295,410. Nearly 200 new single-family home permits were issued throughout Rock County during the calendar year, as well.

The County’s Sales & Use Tax collections remained solid, with over $3.6 Million dollars recorded during Q4. Strong cash register activities throughout the entire year pushed the County’s year-end totals beyond $13.7 Million dollars. These increased collections, in part, are linked to the County’s employment and wage gains – which have achieved various Top 10 and Top 25 national benchmarks, respectively. As a result, retail corridors and Central Business Districts countywide are consistently experiencing steady brick-and-mortar activity. 

The Economic Development (ED) Pipeline for 2017 was populated by a cross-section of industry sectors, totaling more than eight million square feet and an aggregate capital investment valued at $947 million dollars. In 2017, manufacturing related projects represented 50% of the pipeline’s total activity levels. Regardless of industry sector, right-sized real estate and talent availability remain priority locational focal points.

This quarter’s featured project is Commercial Development Company (CDC), which purchased the former GM Janesville property. CDC is a leading North American commercial real estate and brownfield redevelopment company, with an extensive redevelopment portfolio that exceeds 50 Million square feet throughout North America. Within 12-18 +/- months, CDC expects to have the 250 +/- acre campus positioned for redevelopment opportunities. 

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 a snapshot of the ED Pipeline's growth and/or investment opportunities. Each Index also includes a Project Profile section, which highlights project specific news during a given quarter.

For additional information, visit www.RockCountyAlliance.com .


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