Economic Snapshot – October 2020
The economic recovery continues to slow as the weather cools
The US labor market recovery continues to slow, with 661,000 jobs added in September and the unemployment rate dropping to 7.9%. The economy has now added back 11.4 million of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April. The labor force participation rate fell back to its July level of 61.4% after briefly rising to 61.7% in August. All sectors but one grew month over month, with leisure and hospitality (+318,000); trade, transportation, and utilities (+237,000); and professional and business services (+89,000) adding the most jobs. Only the government (-218,000) sector lost jobs month to month. The final set of employment statistics released before the November election shows an economy that is recovering but remains constrained by impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Utah’s economic recovery is still near the best in the nation. Only Idaho is closer to returning to its 2019 economic levels than Utah, where employment declined only 1.8% over the last year. The state currently has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.1%. Utah lost 25,300 jobs over the past year, with the construction (+8,400); trade, transportation, and utilities (+5,200); and financial activities (+1,400) sectors gaining the most jobs. Leisure and hospitality (-26,600); professional and business services (-6,000); and government (-4,000) lost the most jobs year over year. Annual housing price growth continues to accelerate, rising from 7.2% in July to 7.9% in August.
Idaho continues to inch closer to recovery of 2019 levels. The Gem State stands only 0.7% away from a full return to where it was at the same time last year. Idaho’s unemployment rate is also excelling during the recovery, returning to a full employment level of 4.2%. Idaho lost 3,600 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation and utilities (+4,100); financial activities (+2,400); and construction (+1,600) sectors gaining the most jobs. Leisure and hospitality (-6,900); education and health services (-4,500); and other services (-1,400) lost the most jobs year over year. Idaho housing price growth was the highest in the nation at 10.9%.