Economics

Economic Snapshot - January 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.

Robert Spendlove and Joseph Mayans Jan 10, 2019

United States

The United States labor market hit a 10-month high in December, adding a better-than-expected 312,000 jobs. The U.S. has now experienced monthly job gains for 99 consecutive months. Employment gains were broad-based, with the professional and business services (+583,000); education and health services (+517,000); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+370,000) sectors adding to most jobs over the past 12 months. Only the information sector (-16,000) experienced employment losses. The unemployment rate rose from 3.7 percent in November to 3.9 percent in December, due to more individuals entering the labor force. Annual wage growth also rose more than expected from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent.

Utah

Utah continues to have one of the best labor markets in the nation. While the state’s year-over-year employment growth declined slightly from 3.2 percent to 2.9 percent in November, it was still the 5th fastest growing in the country. Utah added 43,000 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation, and utilities (+14,500); education and health services (+6,400); and government (+5,800) sectors adding the largest number of employees. Only the information (-400) sector experienced job losses. From 2017 to 2018, Utah’s population growth was the 3rd fastest in the nation. The state added 57,987 individuals over the past year, with 25,019 coming from net migration and 32,968 from natural increase.

Idaho

Idaho’s labor market continues to expand, but there are signs that the low unemployment rate is hampering employment growth. In November, the state’s year-over-year employment growth slowed to 1.8 percent – the lowest level since 2012. This came as the unemployment rate declined from 2.7 percent to 2.6 percent. Idaho added 12,400 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+5,200), manufacturing (+3,300), and government (+2,100) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. Only the information (-600) sector experienced job losses. From 2017 to 2018, Idaho’s population growth was tied for the fastest in the nation. The state added 35,304 individuals over the past year, with 25,776 coming from net migration and 9,423 from natural increase.

Wyoming

Wyoming’s labor market continues to improve. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 3rd fastest in the nation in November at 3.2 percent. This is the fastest growth the state has experienced in 10 years. The unemployment rate remained level at 4.1 percent. Wyoming added 9,000 jobs over the past year, with the leisure and hospitality (+3,300), construction (+2,900), and education and health services (+900) sectors adding the largest number of jobs. Only the government (-200) and other services (-100) sectors experienced job losses in the last 12 months. From 2017 to 2018, Wyoming’s population declined by 0.2 percent. The state lost 1,197 individuals over the past year, with the decline fueled by net-out migration.

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