Economic Snapshot - June 2020
Unemployment fell and employment rose as 2.5 million people returned to work in May.
In a shocking change from last month, the US labor market reversed course from April, adding 2.5 million jobs in May. The unemployment rate reflected the reversal, dropping to 13.3 percent for the month — down from 14.7 in April. Most sectors grew month-over-month, with leisure and hospitality (+1,239,000), counstruction (+464,000), and education and health services (+424,000) leading the way. While most employment data showed improvement, there were some bad trends that continued through May. The government (-585,000) sector continued to lose jobs as governments react to anticipated declines in revenue. In addition, the disproportionate loss of low wage jobs has led the average wage, and therefore year-over-year wage growth, to skyrocket. While the economy still has a long way to go, recent employment data provides early evidence that the green shoots of recovery are now growing.
Although hurt by the nationwide downturn, Utah’s labor market remains one of the best in the nation. In December, the state’s year-over-year employment losses totaled 7.0 percent — the lowest percent of job losses in the country. Utah’s unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent. While the unemployment rate is now the highest on record, Utah recorded the 6th-lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Utah lost 110,900 jobs over the past year, with only the construction (+3,400) and information (+500) sectors gaining jobs. Leisure and hospitality (-66,700), trade, transportation, and utilities (15,400), and education and health services (-8,800) lost the most jobs year-over-year. Despite coronavirus sloiwing down most sectors, Utah housing price growth remains strong at 5.6 percent.
Although hurt by the nationwide downturn, Idaho’s labor market remains one of the best in the nation. In April, the state’s year-over-year employment losses totaled 9.0 percent — one of the the ten lowest proportions of job loss in the country. Idaho’s unemployment rate rose to 11.5 percent. While the unemployment rate is now the highest on record, it is also below the national average of 14.7 percent. Idaho lost 68,700 jobs over the past year, with only the financial activities (+700) and mining and natural resorces (+300) sectors gaining jobs. Leisure and hospitality (-34,600), education and health services (-14,400), and other services (-6,200) lost the most jobs year-over-year. Despite coronavirus sloiwing down most sectors, Idaho housing price growth remained the highest in the nation at 9.8 percent.