Economics

Economic Snapshot - March 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 Mar 9, 2018

United States

The U.S. labor market continued to expand in February, adding 313,000 jobs. Year-over-year employment growth also improved from 1.5 percent in January to 1.6 percent in February. The unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. 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 year. Annual wage growth declined slightly from 2.9 percent in January to 2.6 percent in February. Along with a strong labor market, economic growth remained robust in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 2.5 percent. The strong economic fundamentals propelled the U.S. Consumer Confidence Index to 130.8 – the highest level since 2000.

Utah

Utah’s labor market experienced the fastest employment growth in the nation in January. The state added 41,300 jobs over the last 12 months and grew at 3.1 percent. Every industry experienced employment gains over the past year, with the leisure and hospitality, construction, and trade, transportation, and utilities sectors adding the most jobs. The unemployment rate remained level at 3.1 percent. The state’s strong labor market growth buoyed home prices, with the CoreLogic Home Price Index rising 10.7 percent over the past year as of December. Consumer prices have also risen higher in Utah than across the nation, with prices rising 3.3 percent in the state vs 2.1 percent nationwide.

Idaho

The labor market in Idaho was one of the best in the nation in January. The state’s employment growth was tied for second in the country, expanding at 2.8 percent over the past 12 months. Employment gains were broad-based, with the construction, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality sectors adding the most jobs over the past year. The natural resources and mining sector was the only industry to experience job losses. The state’s unemployment rate remained at 3.0 percent. Home prices in Idaho rose 10.7 percent in December from the year before, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index. 

Wyoming

Wyoming’s labor market continues to improve. In January, the state’s year-over-year employment growth rose to 1.3 percent from 1.1 percent in December. Wyoming added 3,600 jobs over the past year, with the natural resources and mining, professional and business services, and other services sectors experiencing the largest gains. The government sector experienced the largest employment loss of 1,000 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate remained level at 4.1 percent. Home prices in Wyoming rose 3.3 percent from the year before as of December, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index.

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