Economic Snapshot - January 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 added 148,000 jobs in December, bringing the total number of jobs added in 2017 to 2.1 million. The professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality sectors added the largest number of jobs over the past 12 months. The natural resources and mining sector had the largest percent increase at 8.8 percent, and the manufacturing sector grew by 196,000 jobs after suffering losses in 2016. The only sector to experience job losses over the past year was information, which lost 40,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ended 2017 at 4.1 percent. From 2016 - 2017, the nation’s population grew by 2.3 million, or 0.7 percent, to 325.7 million. The consumer confidence index, which hit a 17-year high in November, fell slightly to 122.1 in December.
Utah had the strongest year-over-year employment growth in the nation in November at 2.8 percent. This was double the national average and better than the state’s 2.7 percent growth in October. The employment growth was broad-based with the leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; and education and health services sectors adding the most jobs over the past 12 months. The only sector to experience employment loss was natural resources and mining, which lost 400 jobs. Utah’s unemployment rate also declined from 3.3 percent in October to 3.2 percent in November. From 2016 – 2017, Utah had the 3rd fastest population growth in the nation at 1.9 percent. Nearly 61 percent of the population growth came from natural increase (births minus deaths), and 39 percent from net migration.
Idaho’s labor market experienced the 5th fastest employment growth in the nation at 2.3 percent in November. The education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and government sectors added the largest number of jobs over the past 12 months. The professional and business services sector had the largest employment loss of 1,500 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate remained level in November at 2.9 percent, significantly below the national average of 4.1 percent. From 2016 – 2017, Idaho had the fastest population growth in the county at 2.2 percent. Over the last year, the state’s population grew by 36,917, with roughly 72 percent of the increase coming from net migration.
Wyoming’s labor market continued to suffer job losses in November. The state’s year-over-year employment growth declined from -0.5 percent in October to -0.6 percent in November. The trade, transportation, and utilities; government; and leisure and hospitality sectors all experienced employment declines of more than 1,000 jobs over the past 12 months. The natural resources and mining sector added 2,200 jobs and grew by 12.4 percent. The state’s unemployment rate increased from 4.2 percent in October to 4.3 percent in November, and remains above the national average of 4.1 percent. From 2016 – 2017, Wyoming’s population declined by 5,595, or 1.0 percent. The majority of population loss was the result of net out-migration.