Lucas County collected almost 4 percent more in sales taxes in the second quarter of 2014 than it did in the same period last year, according to data released this week by Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz’s office.
For the first six months of the year, county consumer sales were up 3.55 percent, according to the report.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz called that “remarkable” considering the brutal winter weather in the first quarter that closed some stores and kept consumers at home.
The treasurer’s report noted that the county’s unemployment rate has dropped more than 2 percentage points since last year. While acknowledging that some of the decline can be blamed on people dropping out of the labor force, it said “new hires are becoming a bigger driver of the recent decline in the local jobless rate.”
It said the county had 3,200 more jobs in June than in June, 2013. But it also noted that the steady drop in national and local unemployment rates has not yet led to rising wages.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz’s report also noted that local residential construction sector numbers continue to lag a bit behind those from last year. Permits for new residential construction and residential additions/alterations were both down from last year. But permits for new commercial projects and commercial additions/alterations were both ahead of last year’s pace.