April 2021 Economic Snapshot
As the nation reopens, the economy heats up
The U.S. economy is showing signs of returning to strength. The labor market added 916,000 jobs in March, with leisure and hospitality, education and construction leading the gains. Key labor market indicators improved as well, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6% and the labor force participation rate increasing to 61.5%. Employment increased across most industries, with Leisure and hospitality (+280,000); government (+136,000); and construction (+110,000) adding the most jobs. Information (-2,000) was the only sector to lose jobs month to month. As more stimulus money continues to enter the economy and consumers continue to gain confidence, we should continue to see large job growth as the U.S. economic recovery accelerates.
A year on from the pre-pandemic peak, the Utah economy has largely gotten back to where it was. In February, the Beehive State lost 0.3% of all jobs year over year, with most job losses coming in resource- and tourism-dependent counties. Despite year over year job losses, the unemployment rate continued to decrease, declining 0.1% to 3.0% in February. Utah lost 300 jobs over the past year, the trade, transportation, and utilities (+10,900); professional and business services (+8,500); andconstruction (+5,500) sectors gaining the most jobs. Leisure and hospitality (-13,200); government (-9,400); and education and health services (-6,100) lost the most jobs year over year. Annual housing price growth continues to accelerate, rising from 13.3% in January to 14.8% in February – the highest rate of annual housing price growth since the housing bubble of the late 2000s.
Idaho’s economic recovery once again led the nation in February. For the second consecutive month, Idaho was the only state to experience at least one percent growth. Gem State unemployment continues to improve as well, dropping from 3.4% in January to 3.3% in February. Unfortunately, the labor force participation rate continued to decline to 62.9% in February – the lowest point since May 2020. Idaho gained 7,000 jobs over the past year, with the trade, transportation and utilities (+7,400); construction (+4,000); and financial activities (+2,500) sectors gaining the most jobs. Leisure and hospitality (-2,300); government (-1,800); and other services (-1,500) lost the most jobs year over year. In February, Idaho’s annual housing price growth led the nation once again, hitting another all-time high of 20.8%.