Friday, June 19, 2015

Utah's Employment Situation for May 2015

Utah's Employment Situation for May 2015 has been released on the web.

Find the Current Economic Situation in its entirety here.

For charts and tables, including County Employment, go to the Employment and Unemployment page.

Next update scheduled for July 17, 2015.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weber County Economic Update

Weber County Ends 2014 with Strong Economic Performance

By Matt Schroeder

Weber County ended 2014 with signs of deepening economic strength and vitality. Wages, which have been slow to keep up with the rest of the recovering labor market, finally turned a corner. A considerable uptick in construction permits reveals positive expectations for housing demand. Taxable sales were up more than 5 percent with particular strength in retail markets suggesting that consumer confidence continues to build. Motor vehicle sales were particularly strong thanks in part to falling oil prices. Unemployment continues to fall and initial unemployment insurance claims are back to pre-recession levels. Employment growth was consistent and broad based. Overall, the roots of recovery appear to be firmly set in the region and Weber County’s economic performance at the end of 2014 leaves continued-optimism for 2015 as the rational expectation.

Morgan County Economic Update

Morgan County Ends 2014 with Strong Economic Performance

By Matt Schroeder

Morgan County ended 2014 on a very positive note. Employment grew at a faster rate than any other county in the state, and wages, which have been slow to keep up with the rest of the recovering labor market, picked up considerably. Taxable sales were up 26 percent. Unemployment was the second lowest in the state and initial unemployment insurance claims are back to pre-recession levels. Overall, the roots of recovery appear to be firmly set in the region and Morgan County’s economic performance at the end of 2014 leaves continued-optimism for 2015 as the rational expectation.

Davis County Economic Update

Davis County Ends 2014 with Strong Economic Performance

By Matt Schroeder


Davis County ended 2014 with healthy labor market expansion and indications of demand-side improvement. Wages, which have been slow to keep up with the rest of the recovering labor market, finally turned a corner. Taxable sales were up almost 7 percent with particular strength in motor vehicles thanks in part to falling oil prices. Unemployment continues to fall and initial unemployment insurance claims are near pre-recession levels. Employment growth was consistent and relatively broad based. Overall, the roots of recovery appear to be firmly set in the region and Davis County’s economic performance at the end of 2014 leaves continued-optimism for 2015 as the rational expectation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Updated Economic Snapshots

New three-page snapshots contain narrative at the bottom for more perspective of the data in a monthly look at employment, unemployment, wages construction, and sales for each county in Utah. (Some data updated less frequently, as available.)

For the latest economic snapshot for your county, check out the updated files on our website for Davis, Morgan and Weber counties.

Note: refreshing browser may be necessary for current information. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Utah's Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for all Utah counties have been posted online here.

Each month, these rates are posted the Monday following the Unemployment Rate Update for Utah.

For more information about seasonally adjusted rates, read a DWS analysis here.

Next update scheduled for May 26th.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Local Insights updated on the web

By Mark Knold, Supervising Economist

The Rob Lowe quote is designed to be humorous. Is the best way to get answers about an entire population to not question the entire population but instead only part of it?

When we hear “census,” we often think of the once-every-ten-year questioning as mandated by the Constitution. In that context though, we often think of “census” as an event instead of what it is—an enumeration.

A census targets an entire population. In contrast, if that is impractical or impossible, then a smaller portion (a survey) of the population needs serve as a viable substitute. Rob Lowe’s humor stems from the idea that when we do the national decennial Census, much of the data comes from a survey. To him, that is an oxymoron...

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To read more, see the latest issues of Local Insights. To receive a printed copy, please call 801-526-9785.

Printed copies expected between April 13th - April 17th.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) updated

The Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.

There is no CPI data specific to Utah, so national data is relied upon for this page.

For monthly and annual CPI data see here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Weber County Economic Update

The Wasatch Front North Edges Ever Closer to Full Recovery

By Matt Schroeder

Post-recession economic recoveries are long and arduous processes no matter what, but recessions involving financial crises are historically even slower.  Utah and the Wasatch Front North have been plugging along steadily for the last few years recovering jobs at an average rate of 2 to 3 percent per year and reaching a point where most counties have surpassed pre-recession levels.  Yet economists still talk in terms of recovery rather than in terms of normal economic expansion.  Why is that?  How do we know when the recovery is complete?

There are a variety of indicators that economists look at when determining the relative progress of a recovery.  One important one is the unemployment rate.  When the unemployment rate bottoms-out (i.e. when it stops falling), it may be a sign that labor markets have reached a “natural” or stable state, and thus recovered.  In the Wasatch Front North, the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points from December 2013 to December 2014, indicating that the recovery may not yet be complete, but it continues to edge ever closer.    


Weber County
  • Weber County maintained steady, but relatively lackluster, employment growth of 2.2 percent year-over-year in the third quarter adding 2,076 jobs.  Manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services were the largest contributing industries adding 516, 469, and 487 jobs respectively, while government was a drag on employment growth with losses of 282 jobs since the third quarter last year.
  • The unemployment rate in Weber County fell slightly to 3.9 percent in December 2014, the first time it’s been below 4.0 percent since the third quarter 2008.  The rate has fallen almost 0.7 percentage points since the same time last year, but remains higher than the state unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.
  • The average number of initial unemployment claims filed per week in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 182 claims, about 75 fewer claims than the fourth quarter 2013 weekly average of 257 claims.
  • Although the labor market continues to tighten, average monthly wages are still slow to pick up coming in at 1.7 percent year-over-year growth in the third quarter 2014.  Weber County is in keeping with the average wage growth for the state which was 1.6 percent.  The average monthly wage in the third quarter was $3,103, not too far off from the state average of $3,429. 
  • Most industries have average wages that are comparable to the state level averages, but the wholesale trade and the professional, scientific, and technical services industries in Weber County have average monthly wages that come in well under the state level averages by 23 percent and 27 percent less respectively.
  • Taxable sales in the third quarter reached $960 million in Weber County, for an increase of 6.6 percent over the same quarter last year.  The manufacturing industry and the retail motor vehicles industry were the largest contributors each adding nearly $9 million in taxable sales compared to the third quarter 2013.