Economic Snapshot - August 2018
This month’s Economic Snapshots provide an overview of state and national trends highlighting indicators such as employment, demographics, housing, consumer sentiment and more.
The United States labor market slowed slightly in July, adding a fewer-than-expected 157,000 jobs. However, employment gains for May and June were revised higher, and July’s growth marked the 94th consecutive month of job creation. Hiring was broad-based, with the professional and business services; education and health services; and trade, transportation, and utilities sectors adding the most jobs over the past year. The unemployment rate once again fell below 4 percent to 3.9 percent. Economic growth registered at 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, marking the highest level since 2014. The strong labor market and economic growth have put upward pressure on inflation indications, leading the consumer price index to rise 2.9 percent over the last year as of June.
Utah’s labor market continued to expand in June. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was tied with Idaho for the highest in the nation at 3.0 percent. Utah added 47,900 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation, and utilities; professional and business services; and education and health services sectors experiencing the largest gains. Natural resources and mining, and information were the only sectors to experience declines in employment. The unemployment rate remained level at 3.0 percent. Inflation in Utah continues to outpace national averages, with the Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index increasing 5.1 percent over the last year versus 2.9 percent nationwide. Utah’s strong economy was also reflected in the rise in the Utah Consumer Attitude Index from 111.9 in June to 113.4 in July.
Idaho posted another solid month of labor market gains in June. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was tied with Utah for the highest in the nation at 3.0 percent. Idaho added 22,000 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality sectors experiencing the largest gains. Only the information sector had a decline in employment of 100 jobs. The unemployment rate remained level at 2.9 percent. Idaho’s strong economy has continued to propel home prices, which rose 11.2 percent over the past year, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index.
Wyoming’s labor market expanded once again in June. The state’s year-over-year employment growth improved from 1.3 percent in May to 1.7 percent in June; the state has now experienced ten straight months of annual job creation. Wyoming added 4,900 jobs over the past year, with the natural resources and mining, professional and business services, and construction sectors experiencing the largest gains. Only the government sector had a decline in employment of 1,500 jobs. The unemployment rate remained level at 3.7 percent. Growth in home prices continue to lag the nation, with Wyoming home prices rising 2.2 percent over the last year versus 7.1 percent nationwide, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index.