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Report: Charlottesville area economy has record year in 2015

economic-forecast-headerThe Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce reported Thursday that total retail sales set a second straight record level over 2015 – $2.587 billion – in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, according to complied Virginia sales & use tax data.

Total 2015 retail sales also set new record high levels in Greene, Louisa and Augusta counties and in the City of Waynesboro.

Virginia Department of Taxation sales tax data compiled showed that retail sales over the course of 2015 (January through December) compared to the full 2014 year, were up in Albemarle County +3.17%; up in Charlottesville +3.22%; up in Augusta County +5.9%; up in Greene County, +4.63%; up in Louisa County, +13.51%; and, up in Waynesboro +4.31%.

Albemarle and Charlottesville, the region’s retail hub, accounted for $2.587 billion (+3.19%) in total retail sales over the full course of 2015; $80 million higher than the previous record high total retail sales year in 2014.

In addition to the retail associated jobs and private investment, a gain or loss in retail sales equates to a local tax revenue gain or loss.  In 2015 total sales tax revenues in Albemarle County were $14.6 million; a year-to-year gain of nearly +$450,000.  Total 2015 sales tax revenues in the City of Charlottesville were $11.244 million; a year-to-year gain of nearly +$350,000.

The 2015 Chamber Jobs Report data show that 16,316 or 23.65%; of all private sector jobs, within the Greater Charlottesville region, are in “Trade, Transportation & Utilities;” most of those jobs in retail. Notably, Wegmans, a leading supermarket company, recently announced that it is hiring 550 people for its new Albemarle location, scheduled to open later this fall.