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(Rock County, WI)  According to the quarterly release of the 2016 Rock Ready Index, Rock County’s economy continues to exhibit both growth and stability characteristics. Highlights from the Q2 report include the following:

Unemployment rates, as measured by annual averages, continued to track along levels that were common during 2005-2007. With rates hovering around the five percent mark and job openings consistently exceeding the 20,000 threshold, employers are ramping-up their employee retention and recruitment efforts. Increased wages to enhanced benefits packages, as well as a host other creative approaches, are increasingly becoming the norm vs. the exception. In response to these trends, www.JobsInRockCounty.com was developed as a tool for the human resources community, third party recruiters and job seekers. Since its launch earlier this spring, this online employment and information portal continues to gain favorable attention from employers and job seekers alike.

Rock County’s residential market continues to surge upward, as Q2 2016 established a record setting pace for price points and transactional activities. With average single-family home prices exceeding $151,000 and the total number of sales approaching 750, the residential supply chain has definitely been reinvigorated. Dormant subdivisions are now active; isolated infill lots have become attractive development sites; and discussions regarding those Phase II or Phase III developments are being revisited.

From a disposable income lens, the area’s cash registers are ringing at a brisk pace: Q2 2016 set yet another record at $3.34 Million. Since 2014, the County’s sales & use tax collections have exceeded the $3 Million threshold seven out of ten quarters. If the economy remains on its current trajectory, there is a strong chance that total collections for YR 2016 could exceed $12.5 Million.  

Energy consumption, as measured by the number of meters and usage, continued to display more weather vs. economic related shifts. Even when factoring in steady commitments to energy efficiencies – across different utility customer segments – energy demand remained strong. 

Lastly, the dashboard’s Project Profile section provided a sampling of various economic development projects that were announced during Q2 2016. Five of the six highlighted projects represent existing businesses that are expanding. Meanwhile, one project represents the continuation of sizable residential investments in or near Edgerton’s Central Business District.

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 .

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