Economic Snapshot - May 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 164,000 jobs in April. While this was lower than expected, it was an improvement over the 135,000 jobs added in March. Employment gains were widespread, with the professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality sectors adding the most jobs over the past 12 months. The unemployment rate also declined from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent, marking the lowest level since December 2000. However, even with the decline in unemployment, annual wage growth failed to rise, falling slightly from 2.7 percent to 2.6 percent. Economic growth in the first quarter of 2018 registered at 2.3 percent. This is lower than recent trends, but it still signals a growing economy.
Utah’s labor market continued to expand in March. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was tied for the highest in the nation with Idaho, at 3.3 percent. Employment gains were widespread, with the trade, transportation, and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and education and health services sectors adding the most jobs over the past 12 months. Only the other services, and natural resources and mining sectors experienced job losses. The unemployment rate remained level in March at 3.1 percent. While it still remains robust, Utah’s consumer confidence index declined from 129.5 in March to 114.1 in April.
Idaho’s labor market was one of the best in the country in March. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was tied for the highest in the nation with Utah, at 3.3 percent. Employment gains were broad-based, with the government, leisure and hospitality, and construction sectors adding the most jobs over the past 12 months. Only the natural resources and mining sector experienced a decline in employment. In addition, the unemployment rate declined from 3.0 percent to 2.9 percent. As the labor market continues to expand, the state’s home prices are experiencing strong upward pressure. According to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, Idaho’s home prices rose 12.3 percent over the past year – the third highest rate in the nation.
Wyoming’s labor market continues to grow. The state’s year-over-year employment growth fell slightly from 1.7 percent to 1.3 percent in March. Wyoming added 3,500 jobs over the past year, with the natural resources and mining, professional and business services, and the other services sectors experiencing the largest gains. The government sector experienced the largest employment loss of 1,400 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate fell from 4.0 percent to 3.9 percent, following the national average. Home prices in Wyoming rose 0.4 percent from the year before as of March, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index.