By Valorie Rice, EBRC Senior Business Information Specialist
August 1, 2014
Home prices increased at a slower pace in May according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released July 29. The 12 month change in home prices for Phoenix was 8.2% for May, which was lower than the 10-city or 20-city composites, 9.4% and 9.3% respectively. Las Vegas remained the metropolitan area with the highest year-over-year change at 16.9%.
Metropolitan area employment data for June was released July 30. Of the 372 metropolitan areas tracked 10 had unemployment rates of at least 10% for the month and 74 areas had rates lower than 5%. Arizona metropolitan areas fell mostly in between the two extremes with one exception – Yuma had the highest unemployment rate in the nation for June with 26.9%. Other metro areas in the state were: Flagstaff 7.5%, Lake Havasu City-Kingman 7.6%, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 8.6%, Prescott 6.5%, and Tucson 6.9%.
After a spike in the number of initial unemployment claims for Arizona during the second week of July, they retreated back to 5,395 for the third week of July. The four-week average moved up 109 to 5,843. National unemployment claims were higher last week, moving up to a seasonally adjusted 302,000. The less volatile four-week average fell to 297,250.
The July employment situation was released Friday, August 1. Total U.S. nonfarm employment grew by 209,000 in July, the sixth straight month of job growth over 200,000. Sectors that added the most jobs were professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction. The unemployment rate moved up slightly to 6.2% compared to 6.1% in June.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the June Consumer Price Index (CPI) on July 22. The CPI rose 0.3% between May and June, fueled mainly by fuel, as gas prices accounted for the majority of the month-to-month increase. The annual inflation rate was 2.1% before seasonal adjustment.