Local economy lagging behind rest of state
While Virginia Department of Taxation taxable sales figures show a post-recession rebound for the state as a whole, Gloucester and Mathews counties have still not returned to their pre-
recession economic status.
In 2006, before the recession hit, businesses statewide had $89.48 billion in sales that were taxable, according to figures supplied by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. Sales were even higher in 2007, at $92 billion. In 2009, that figure had dropped by 6.7 percent, to $85.87 billion in taxable sales.
But by 2013, the economic picture looked much rosier statewide. In terms of total economy, the state has surpassed its 2006 pre-recession status by 5.6 percent and its 2007 total sales by 2.8 percent, with $94.6 billion in sales in 2013.
However, the recovery hasn’t extended to some of the economic sectors that lost most heavily during the recession.
One of the largest economic sectors that declined statewide during the recession in both real numbers and percent of decline was Building Materials and Garden Supplies Dealers, which dropped from a $7.6 billion economic sector in 2006 to $5 billion in 2009—a 34 percent decline in taxable sales. The sector has never fully recovered. With $5.7 billion in sales in 2013, it was still down 25 percent from 2006.
In terms of percentage of sales, Miscellaneous Manufacturing led the losses among the major economic sectors, dropping 50 percent between 2006 and 2009, from $1.08 billion to $541 million. In spite of a minor rebound in 2011, the sector continued to decline and was down by 59 percent in 2013, with just $443 million in taxable sales.