By Valorie Rice, EBRC Senior Business Information Specialist

July 4, 2014

The U.S. gained 288,000 nonfarm jobs in June, according to the July 3 employment situation release. Employment increases were highest in professional and business services and retail trade, however most sectors had improvement. The unemployment rate for the nation moved down to 6.1% for June, compared to 6.3% in May. 

Initial unemployment claims were lower for Arizona the third week of June with 4,960 applying for benefits. The four-week average was also lower at 5,446. Claims were up slightly for the nation at a seasonally adjusted 315,000 for the last week of June, while the four-week average was also 315,000 unadjusted.

Initial Unemployment Insurance claims (4 week moving average) - Arizona and U.S.

Initial Unemployment Insurance claims (4 week moving average) – Arizona and U.S.

June 27, 2014

The S&P/Case-Shiller April Home Price Indices were released June 24. The report indicated home prices were still growing, but not at the same level they previously had been. The 12 month change in Phoenix home prices was 9.8% for April, down from an 11% change in March. The year-over-year change for Phoenix had been in the double digits since May 2012. Similarly, Las Vegas and San Francisco, which lead in price gains, both fell below 20% for the first time in 13 months.

State personal income data for the first quarter 2014 was released June 24. Arizona personal income grew 0.9% between the third and fourth quarters, just ahead of the nation at 0.8%. The states with the fastest growth for the quarter were Washington, Vermont and West Virginia with 1.4%. On the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota’s income decreased 2.9%, followed by South Dakota with a decrease of 0.3%.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the third estimate of first quarter 2014 gross domestic product on June 25. Real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 2.9%, revised downward from the second estimate of negative 1%. The revisions reflected the fact that personal consumer expenditures were smaller than previous estimated and exports declined further than expected. Real GDP had increased 2.6% in the fourth quarter 2013.

Arizona initial unemployment claims were lower the second week of June, going down 845 to 5,255. The four-week average was higher though, at 5,531 compared to 5,478 the week prior. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits nationally was a seasonally adjusted 312,000 for the third week of June. The four-week average was higher at 314,000.

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