Economic Snapshot - October 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 134,000 jobs in September, marking 96 consecutive months of employment growth. Additionally, the unemployment rate declined from 3.9 percent to 3.7 percent – the lowest rate since 1969. Job gains were 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. Only the information sector experienced employment declines. In September, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate a .25 percent to a target range of 2.0 – 2.25 percent, citing a strong labor market and growing economy.
Utah retained its top spot as the fastest growing labor market in the nation in August. The state’s year-over-year employment growth registered at 3.5 percent for the second month in a row. Over the last year, Utah added 54,700 jobs with the trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality sectors adding the largest number of employees. Only the natural resources and mining sector experienced job losses. The unemployment rate remained flat in August at 3.1 percent. The strong labor market and economic conditions have continued to boost home prices across the state. The median home value in Utah was $310,800 as of August, according to Zillow Home Value Index - significantly higher than the nationwide median of $216,700.
Idaho had one of the fastest growing labor markets in the nation in August. The state’s year-over-year employment growth registered at 3.1 percent - the 5th highest rate in the country. Additionally, the unemployment rate declined from 2.9 percent to 2.8 percent. Idaho added 23,200 jobs over the past year, with the government, manufacturing, and professional and business services sectors experiencing the largest job gains. The strong labor market has continued to push up home prices across the state. In August, the median home value in Idaho was $232,400 versus $216,700 nationwide.
Wyoming’s labor market continued to expand in August. The state’s year-over-year employment growth improved from 2.0 percent in July to 2.3 percent in August. Wyoming has experienced 12 consecutive months of annual job creation. Over the past year, the largest job gains were in the natural resources and mining, construction, and education and health services sectors. Only the other services and government sectors experienced job losses in the last 12 months. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.8 percent to 3.9 percent. While home values in Wyoming remain higher than national averages, home price growth over the past year has lagged the nation, expanding at 1.2 percent vs 6.2 percent.