Economic Snapshot - July 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 made a strong rebound in June as employers added 224,000 jobs. This was well above analysts’ estimates and marked 105 consecutive months of employment growth. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent due to more individuals entering the labor force in search of work. Employment gains across the major industries were broad based over the past year, with education and health services (+585,000), professional and business services (+482,000), and leisure and hospitality (+370,000) adding the largest number of jobs. Only the information (-23,000) sector experienced employment declines. While the U.S. is currently in the longest economic expansion on record at 121 months, there are signs the ongoing trade war and slowing global economy are having a negative impact. Consumer confidence has recently declined below the high levels witnessed in late 2018 and a major barometer of manufacturing activity, the ISM Manufacturing Index, has contracted sharply since the start of the year.
Utah’s labor market remains one of the best in the nation. While the state’s year-over-year employment growth slowed slightly from 3.0 percent in April to 2.8 percent in May, it was still the 2nd highest rate in the country. Utah’s unemployment rate also remained at its lowest level since 2007 at 2.9 percent. Every major industry added jobs over the past year, with education and health services (+7,700), trade, transportation, and utilities (+6,600), and professional and business services (+6,300) adding the largest number of employees. Though still outpacing the national average, annual inflation along the Wasatch Front moderated from 3.4 percent in April to 3.1 percent in May. In a similar trend, Utah’s home price growth has slowed slightly in recent months despite still rising at one of the fastest rates in the country. In May, the median home value in the state rose 11.3 percent from the year before versus 5.4 percent nationwide.
Idaho’s labor market keeps growing. In May, the state’s year-over-year employment growth remained strong at 2.5 percent - the 5th highest rate in the nation. The unemployment rate remains well below the national average at 2.8 percent. Idaho added 17,200 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+5,200), education and health services (+3,000), and manufacturing (+2,200) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. Only the information (-900) and natural resources and mining (-100) sectors experienced job losses. Home prices in Idaho continue to rise at the fastest rate in the nation. In May, the median home value rose by 15.8 percent from the year before versus 5.4 percent nationally.
Wyoming’s labor market continues to grow. The state’s year-over-year employment growth rose from 1.5 percent in April to 1.6 percent in May. Wyoming’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent; the lowest level since 2008. Wyoming added 4,500 jobs over the past year, with the construction (+2,100), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,900), manufacturing (+700), and other services (+700) industries creating the most jobs. The leisure and hospitality (-1,200), education and health services (-500), financial activities (-100), and information (-100) sectors lost jobs year over year. The median home value in Wyoming slipped below the national average as annual home price growth in the state slowed to 3.7 percent.