Economic Snapshot - August 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 U.S. labor market remained solid in July as employers added 164,000 jobs. This was in-line with estimates and marked 106 consecutive months of employment growth. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, while the broader measure of underemployment declined to 7.0 percent – the lowest level since 2000. Employment gains were broad based over the last 12 months, with the education and health services (+605,000), professional and business services (+467,000), and leisure and hospitality (+338,000) sectors adding the largest number of jobs. Only the information (-13,000) sector experienced a decline in employment. While employment gains were seen in manufacturing, the sector’s job growth continues to moderate as the U.S.-China trade war drags on. Gross domestic product, the widest measure of economic activity, declined from 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, to 2.1 percent in the second quarter.
Utah’s labor market remains one of the best in the nation despite the moderation in employment growth in recent months. In June, the state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 3rd highest in the country at 2.7 percent. Utah’s job creation appears to be constrained by the state’s very low unemployment rate, which declined from 2.9 percent to 2.8 percent in June. This is the lowest unemployment rate in Utah since 2007 and is making it more difficult for employers to find qualified labor. Despite this, every major industry added jobs over the past year, with the education and health services (+9,900), professional and business services (+8,600), and manufacturing (+6,300) sectors adding the most jobs. Inflation along the Wasatch Front declined for the third month in a row to 3.0 percent.
Idaho’s labor market remains solid even as job creation has moderated in recent months. In June, the state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 8th highest in the nation at 2.3 percent. Idaho’s unemployment rate tied with Utah for the 5th lowest in the country at 2.8 percent. Idaho added 18,200 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+5,800), education and health services (+3,100), and government (+2,500) sectors adding the largest number of employees. Only the information (-1,000) sector experienced job losses. Home prices in Idaho continue to rise at the fastest rate in the nation. In June, the state's median home value rose 14.7 percent from the year before versus 5.2 percent nationally.
Wyoming’s labor market continues to improve. In June, the state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 9th highest in the nation at 2.0 percent. This is the highest expansion in job creation in the state since 2014. Additionally, the unemployment rate remained at the lowest level since 2008 at 3.5 percent. Wyoming added 5,800 jobs over the past year, with the construction (+2,800), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,700), and other services (+1,000) sectors adding the largest number of jobs. The leisure and hospitality (-700) sector experienced the largest decline in employment. Home price growth across the state continues to lag the nation. In June, the median home value in Wyoming rose 2.8 percent from the year before versus 5.2 percent nationwide.