Economic Snapshot - April 2019
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 rebounded in March, adding a better-than-expected 196,000 jobs. This came after only adding a revised 33,000 jobs in February. Along with solid hiring in March, the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent and annual wage growth expanded at 3.2 percent. Over the previous 12 months, the education and health services (+545,000), professional and business services (+534,000), and leisure and hospitality (+435,000) sectors experienced the largest job gains. Only the information sector (-3,000) experienced a decline in employment. Economic growth was revised down slightly from 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. The slowdown in the economy and ongoing volatility in financial markets were felt in the Consumer Confidence Index, which declined from 131.4 in February to 124.1 in March.
Utah continues to have one of the top-performing labor markets in the nation. Although the state’s year-over-year employment growth declined from 3.4 percent in January to 2.9 percent in February, it still had the 2nd highest growth in the country. Utah’s unemployment rate also fell to 3.0 percent - the lowest level since 2008. Utah added 42,400 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation, and utilities (+10,400), leisure and hospitality (+8,700), and education and health services (+6,100) sectors adding the largest number of employees. From 2017 to 2018, Utah experienced the 2nd fastest personal income growth in the nation at 6.3 percent. Inflation along the Wasatch Front - driven by rising home prices - registered at 3.9 percent in February, well above the national average of 1.5 percent.
Idaho’s labor market keeps growing at a brisk pace. In February, the state’s year-over-year employment growth increased slightly to 2.5 percent - the 4th highest rate in the nation. Robust job creation continues despite Idaho’s unemployment rate remaining relativley low at 2.9 percent. Idaho added 19,100 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+5,300), trade, transportation and utilities (+3,200), and education and health services (+2,700) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. Only the information (-600) sector experienced job losses. The state’s strong labor market and robust population growth continue to raise home values. In February, Idaho’s median home value rose 17.2 percent from the year before versus a 7.2 percent rise nationwide. Personal income growth in Idaho was the 6th highest in the nation, growing by 5.4 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Wyoming’s labor market continues to add jobs at a moderate pace. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 17th fastest in the nation in February at 1.6 percent. The unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 percent. Wyoming added 4,500 jobs over the past year, with the construction (+2,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,500), and professional and business services (+1,100) industries creating the most jobs. The leisure and hospitality (-800), education and health services (-700), information (-100), and natural resources and mining (-100) sectors were the only industries to lose jobs year-over-year. Housing prices remain roughly even with the national average despite below average housing price growth.