By Valorie Rice, EBRC Senior Business Information Specialist

October 3, 2014

Home prices are still growing, but at a much slower pace, according to the July S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released on September 30th.  Phoenix had a 5.7% change in year-over-year home prices in July, close to the 5.6% posted for the U.S. The one-year change in prices for Phoenix has been steadily lower each month since September 2013.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released state personal income data for the second quarter 2014 with annual revisions for 2011-2013 on September 30th. Personal income for Arizona increased 1.4% between the first and second quarters, placing its income growth 36th among all states. North Dakota had the highest increase in income for the second quarter with 2.7%. Annual personal income data for Arizona were revised up 0.2% in 2011, 1.0% in 2012, and 0.4% in 2013, putting 2013 personal income at $245,070,457,000 or $37,239 per capita (when using Arizona Dept. of Administration population estimates).

All but 50 of the 372 metropolitan areas tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics had lower unemployment rates in August, including five in Arizona, while 44 metros had higher unemployment rates and six were unchanged for the month. The two largest metros in the state, Phoenix (6.3%) and Tucson (6.6%), were among those that stayed the same from July to August.  While the rate went down in Yuma, it still had the highest unemployment rate in the nation for August among metropolitan areas, with 28.0%. Rates for the other AZ metros were: Flagstaff 7.1%, Lake Havasu City-Kingman 8.2%, and Prescott 6.7%.

Arizona initial unemployment claims were higher the second week of September, moving to 4,384. The four-week average was also slightly higher at 4,132 compared to 4,110 the week prior, breaking a two month streak of decreased average filings.  First-time claims for jobless benefits were down nationally the last week of September at a seasonally adjusted 287,000, while the four-week average was 294,750.

The September employment situation was released Friday, October 3rd. The U.S. added 248,000 nonfarm jobs in September, with the professional and business services, retail trade, and health care sectors experiencing the most growth. The nation’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 5.9% for the month. The participation rate decreased to 62.7 for September. 

This week – September 26, 2014

Initial unemployment claims in Arizona were up 442 to 4,183 the first week of September. The four-week average was lower for the eighth straight week, at 4,110 compared to 4,160 the week prior.  Jobless claims nationally rose the third week of September after a sharp fall at the beginning of the month, putting the seasonally adjusted figure at 293,000. The four-week average was lower at 298,500. 

According to the September 26th release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 4.6% in the second quarter 2014. This was higher than the earlier estimate of 4.2% for the second quarter. GDP had decreased 2.1% in the first quarter.

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