Economic Snapshot - January 2020
The unemployment rate remained strong, staying at 3.5 percent — another tie for the lowest recorded number in 50 years.
The U.S. labor market slowed in December, adding 145,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained strong, staying at 3.5 percent — another tie for the lowest recorded number in 50 years. Employment growth weakened slightly, decreasing 0.1 percent to 1.4 percent. The labor force participation rate stayed steady in December at 63.2 percent. Annual wage growth continued to taper, growing 2.9 percent year-over-year. Over the previous 12 months, the education and health services (+647,000), professional and business services (+397,000) and leisure and hospitality (+388,000) sectors experienced the largest job gains. Only the natural resources and mining sector (-21,000) experienced a decline in employment. Economic growth increased slightly in the third quarter of 2019 to 2.1 percent. The Consumer Confidence Index stayed steady, increasing from 125.5 in November to 126.5 in December.
Utah’s labor market growth remains strong. In November, the state’s year-over-year employment growth improved from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent — the highest rate in the country. Utah’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.4 percent, which is the lowest unemployment rate the state has ever had. Utah added 51,454 jobs over the past year, with the education and health services (+12,500), construction (+9,500), professional and business services (+6,300), and leisure and hospitality (+6,300) sectors adding the largest number of employees. No sector lost jobs year-over-year. Utah continues to experience significantly above–trend inflation, with the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index rising 3.5 percent over the year, compared to 2.1 percent nationwide.
Idaho’s labor market growth is holding steady. The state’s year-over-year employment growth increased from 2.4 percent in October to 2.7 percent in November — the second highest rate in the nation. The unemployment rate remains well below the national average at 2.9 percent. Idaho added 19,700 jobs over the past year, with the professional and business services (+7,100); education and health services (+3,300); and trade, transportation and utilities (+2,300) sectors experiencing the largest employment gains. The leisure and hospitality (-300), information (-200), and natural resources and mining (-200) sectors were the only sectors to lose jobs year over year. Despite some slowing, home prices in Idaho continue to rise at the fastest rate in the nation. In November, the median home value rose by 10.1 percent from the year before, versus 3.7 percent nationally.