Economic Snapshot - June 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 US labor market is showing signs of weakness. After adding a revised 224,000 jobs in April, job creation fell to 75,000 in May. Additionally, annual wage growth – which averaged 3.3 percent in the first four months of the year – declined to 3.1 percent. The unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent. Employment gains across the major industries were broad based over the past year, with education and health services (+590,000), professional and business services (+498,000), and leisure and hospitality (+421,000) adding the largest number of jobs. Only the information sector (-34,000) experienced employment declines. Concerns over the economy have cooled annual home price appreciation, which declined to the lowest level since 2016 of 6.1 percent. The slowdown in housing comes even as 30-year mortgage rates have fallen under 4 percent.
Utah’s labor market continues to be one of the best in the nation. In April, the state’s year-over-year employment growth remained at 3.0 percent – the 2nd highest rate in the country. Utah’s unemployment rate also declined to the lowest level since 2007 of 2.9 percent. Every major industry added jobs over the past year, with leisure and hospitality (+9,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (+7,900), and education and health services (+6,900) adding the largest number of employees. While still outpacing the national average, inflation along the Wasatch Front has moderated from the high levels seen in late 2018 and the start of 2019. In April, the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index rose 3.4 percent from the year before versus 2.0 percent nationwide.
Idaho’s labor market continues to grow at a fast pace. In April, the state’s year-over-year employment growth decreased slightly to 2.5 percent - the 4th highest rate in the nation. The unemployment rate remains low at 2.8 percent thanks to continued strong employment growth. Idaho has added 17,800 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+4,300), education and health services (+2,700), and government (+2,300) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. Only the information (-700) sector experienced job losses. The state's strong labor market and fast population growth continue to put upward pressure on home values. In April, Idaho’s median home value rose 16.9 percent from the year before versus a 6.1 percent rise nationwide.
Wyoming’s labor market is still growing, albeit at a slightly slower pace. The state’s year-over-year employment growth fell from 1.7 percent in March to 1.4 percent in April. Wyoming’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.6 percent; the lowest level since 2008. Wyoming added 4,100 jobs over the past year, with the construction (+2,300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,600), professional and business services (+700), and other services (+700) industries creating the most jobs. The leisure and hospitality (-1,200), education and health services (-500), and government (-200) sectors lost the most jobs year over year. Wyoming housing prices were slightly above the national average despite home price growth remaining below the national average.