Economic Snapshot - November 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 Nov 9, 2018

United States

The United States labor market added a better-than-expected 250,000 jobs in October, marking 97 consecutive months of employment growth. Additionally, the unemployment rate remained at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. Employment gains were broad-based, with the professional and business services, education and health services, and construction sectors adding the most jobs over the past year. Only the information sector experienced employment declines. The big story, however, was the rise in annual wage growth, which improved from 2.8 percent to 3.1 percent – the highest level since 2009. Along with a strong labor market, the economy continues to remain robust, with third-quarter economic growth registering at 3.5 percent. 


Utah’s labor market was one of the best in the nation in September. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 2nd highest in the country at 3.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent in August. Utah added 53,200 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and government sectors adding the largest number of employees. Only the natural resources and mining sector experienced job losses. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.1 percent in August to 3.2 percent in September. The strong labor market and economic conditions continue to boost home prices across the state. The median home value in Utah was $320,900 as of September, according to the Zillow Home Value Index - significantly higher than the nationwide median of $220,100.


Idaho’s labor market continues to outperform national averages. In September, the state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 8th highest in the nation at 2.7 percent. Additionally, the unemployment rate declined from 2.8 percent to 2.7 percent. Idaho added 18,100 jobs over the past year, with the manufacturing, professional and business services, and government sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. The strong labor market continues to push up home prices across the state, which rose 12.2 percent over the past year. Idaho’s median home value registered at $241,300 in September, which was above the national median of $220,100.


Wyoming’s labor market continued to expand in September. The state’s year-over-year employment growth remained above the national average at 2.2 percent. With the gain in employment, Wyoming has now experienced 13 consecutive months of annual job creation. Over the past year, the largest job gains were in the leisure and hospitality, natural resources and mining, and construction sectors. Only the government and other services sectors experienced job losses in the last 12 months. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.9 percent to 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 1.9 percent versus 5.5 percent.

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