Economic Snapshot - May 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 Drew Maggelet May 9, 2019

United States

The United States labor market showed no signs of slowing down in April, adding 263,000 jobs. The unemployment rate also looked strong, dropping to 3.6%; the lowest recorded number in 50 years. Employment growth strengthened slightly, increasing to 1.8 percent. The labor force participation rate decreased again in April, falling to 62.8 percent. Annual wage growth continued at a steady rate, grow-ing 3.2 percent year-over-year. Over the previous 12 months, the education and health services (+588,000), professional and business services (+535,000), and leisure and hospitality (+455,000) sectors experienced the largest job gains. Only the information sector (-15,000) experienced a decline in employment. Economic growth ticked up in the first quarter of 2019 to 3.2 percent. The robust economic picture led the Consumer Confidence Index to increase to 129.2.


Utah’s labor market continues to grow rapidly. In March, the state’s year-over-year employment growth improved from 2.9 percent to 3.0 percent – the 2nd highest rate in the country. Utah’s unemployment rate stayed level at 3.0 percent; the lowest unemployment rate recorded in 11 years. Utah added 45,100 jobs over the past year, with the leisure and hospitality (+8,900), trade, transportation, and utilities (+8,600), and education and health services (+6,000) sectors adding the largest number of employees. Only the other services (-200) sector lost jobs year-over-year. Utah continues to experience significantly above trend inflation, with the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index rising 4.3 percent over the year compared to 1.9 percent nationwide.


Idaho’s labor market continues to grow at a fast pace. In March, the state’s year-over-year employment growth increased slightly to 2.7 percent - the 3rd highest rate in the nation. The unemployment rate remains low at 2.9 percent thanks to continued strong employment growth. Idaho added 17,500 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+5,300), trade, transportation and utilities (+2,400), and government (+2,100) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. Only the information (-500) sector experienced job losses. Home values continue to rise thanks to fast population growth and strong employment growth. In March, Idaho’s median home value rose 17.4 percent from the year before versus a 6.6 percent rise nationwide.


Wyoming’s labor market continues to grow steadily. The state’s year-over-year employment growth was the 11th fastest in the nation in March at 1.7 percent. The unemployment rate decreased below the national average to 3.7 percent. Wyoming added 4,900 jobs over the past year, with the construction (+2,300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,400), and manufacturing (+700) industries creating the most jobs. The education and health services (-800), leisure and hospitality (-300), information (-100), and financial activities (-100) sectors were the only industries to lose jobs year-over-year. Wyoming housing prices are close to the national average despite home growth remaining below the national average.

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