Economics

Economic Snapshot - December 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.

Robert Spendlove and Joseph Mayans Dec 14, 2018

United States

The United States labor market slowed slightly in November, adding a fewer-than-expected 155,000 jobs. While job growth slowed, it still marked the 98th consecutive month employment gains. Additionally, the unemployment rate remained at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. Year-over-year employment gains were broad-based, with the professional and business services (+561,000); education and health services (+473,000); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+307,000) sectors adding the most jobs. Only the information (-21,000) sector experienced employment declines. Annual wage growth, which has averaged 2.4 percent since 2007, remained at the highest level since 2009 at 3.1 percent.

Utah

Utah continues to have one of the best labor markets in the in nation. In October, the state’s year-over-year employment growth was tied for the 2nd highest in the nation at 3.3 percent. Utah added 48,300 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation, and utilities (+12,000); education and health services (+7,800); and government (+6,200) sectors adding the largest number of employees. Only the information (-700) and natural resources and mining (-100) sectors experienced job losses. The unemployment rate remained flat at 3.2 percent. The strong labor market and economic conditions continue to boost home prices across the state. The median home value in Utah was $325,400 as of October, which is significantly higher than the nationwide median of $221,500.

Idaho

Idaho’s labor market continues to outperform national averages. In October, the state’s year-over-year employment growth was tied for the 12th highest in the nation at 2.1 percent. Additionally, the unemployment rate remained level at 2.7 percent. Idaho added 14,700 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+3,500), manufacturing (+3,400), and government (+2,600) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. The strong labor market continues to push up home prices across the state, which rose 11.9 percent over the past year. Idaho’s median home value was $246,200 in October, which was above the national median of $221,500.

Wyoming

Wyoming’s labor market continued to expand in October. The state’s year-over-year employment growth remained above the national average at 2.1 percent. With the gain in employment, Wyoming has now experienced 14 consecutive months of annual job creation. Over the past year, the largest job gains were in the leisure and hospitality (+2,200), construction (+1,500) and national resources and mining (+1,200) sectors. Only the government (-600) and professional and business services (-400) sectors experienced job losses in the last 12 months. The unemployment rate remained level at 4.1 percent. While home values in Wyoming remain slightly higher than national averages, home price growth over the past year has lagged the nation, expanding at 4.4 percent versus 5.6 percent.

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