Davis County continues to show signs of an improving economy with non-farm jobs increasing 2.3 percent in the last quarter of 1988, the Utah Department of Employment Security reported.

According to the report of economic activity during the last three months of 1988, the increase comes from the addition of 1,195 jobs to the Davis County economy. It was an improvement over the previous quarter's 1.6 growth rate.The surge in new jobs came in the service sector, which increased by 1,030 new jobs. More than half of the jobs created came in business and personal services.

Jobs in transportation, communication and public utilities also showed a healthy gain of 13.1 percent. This translates into 220 new jobs from a year ago. By far, the strongest influx of jobs - two-thirds of those created in the category - came from trucking and warehousing.

The report also indicates that manufacturing remains a strong supplier of new jobs, despite a drop in employment numbers from a year ago. About 215 new manufacturing jobs were created - most involving the manufacturing of food products, toys and sporting goods.

Gross taxable retail sales rose by 7.4 percent in Davis County over a year ago to $242.2 million. That is the highest increase among the three counties included in the report - Morgan, Weber and Davis counties. Layton received the largest amount with sales totaling $64.8 million, while Bountiful experienced a 2.6 drop in sales to $61.6 million. Clearfield, Clinton, Fruit Heights and Kaysville also suffered drops in sales figures.

Davis County reported 173 new home permits - 11 fewer new home permits in the fourth quarter of 1988 than during the same period a year ago. One-third of the permits were issued in Layton. The rest of the building activity was shared by Centerville, Kaysville, West Point, Bountiful and Farmington.

Nonresidential construction dropped by about $900,000 to about $5 million in permits being issued. The major projects of the quarter were three industrial buildings, six stores and three church buildings.