by Valorie Hanni Rice
Senior Specialist, Business Information

The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics July 3rd release. Industries adding the most jobs were professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and transportation and warehousing. The mining industry continued to lose employment. The national unemployment rate dropped to 5.3% in June from 5.5% reported in May.

Real personal income in Arizona rose 1.6% in 2013 while incomes across all regions increased an average of 0.8%. For Arizona metropolitan areas, real personal income rose 1.7% in Prescott; 1.4% in Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City-Kingman, and Yuma; 1.3% in Phoenix; 0.3% in Tucson; and declined 1.5% in Sierra Vista-Douglas. The July 1 Bureau of Economic Analysis release also included regional price parity data, which indicated that prices in Arizona were 2.9% lower than the U.S. in 2013.

Home prices eased up a bit nationally in April, according to the S&P/Case Shiller June 30th release. Home prices in the Phoenix metro, however, were up 3.5% year-over-year in April compared to 3.1% in March. The one-year change in prices for Phoenix has steadily risen since hitting a low of 2.0% in in the index last November. Nationally, prices were up 4.2% in April compared to 4.3% in February and March and 4.4% in January.

Consumers were happy in June. Both the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index June numbers surged above those reported in May. The Consumer Confidence Index for June was 101.4 compared to 94.6 in May as reported June 30th. This was far better than 85.2 posted in June of last year. The Consumer Sentiment Index, released June 26th, was 96.1 in June compared to 90.7 a month earlier.

This Week – June 26, 2015

Arizona has more millennials than baby boomers according to the most recent Census Bureau population estimates released June 25. There were 1.7 million millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000) in Arizona in 2014, while baby boomers numbered 1.5 million, even though the population of the boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) grew 10.3% between 2010 and 2014 in the state.

Arizona is also fairly diverse, with minorities making up 43.8% of the population compared to 37.9% for the nation. This ranks Arizona 9th in the country, 10th if the District of Columbia is included. Hawaii has the highest share of minorities at 77.0%, while Maine has 6.2%. The big news for the U.S. was that, for the first time, the under 5 population became a minority-majority in 2014, with 50.2% of the population being part of a minority race or ethnic group. Arizona’s under 5 year old population was 60.6% minority.

Arizona initial unemployment claims were 4,361 the first week of June. The four-week moving average for the state was 4,647, roughly the same as it had been the week prior. Nationally, initial claims rose to 271,000 for the week ending June 20th, yet this was the 16th week in a row with claims lower than 300,000. The less volatile four-week average declined to 273,750. 
Real GDP decreased 0.2% in the first quarter 2015 at an annual rate. This was a smaller decline than previously estimated. The fourth quarter 2014 GDP increased 2.2%.

Personal income in Arizona grew 1.0% in the first quarter of 2015, just above the U.S. rate of 0.9%. The Bureau of Economic Analysis June 22 release reported that personal income grew in 46 states during the first quarter with Florida having the largest increase at 1.3% while Iowa decreased 1.2%. 

This Week – June 19, 2015

Arizona’s year-over-year job growth was 2.4% in May, a bit higher than the U.S. at 2.2%. Over the year job growth in Arizona metros were: 3.0% in Phoenix, 2.2% in Flagstaff, 1.5% in Prescott, 0.8% in Tucson, -0.4% in Lake Havasu City-Kingman, -0.6% in Sierra Vista-Douglas, and -1.9% in Yuma. Eight of the eleven major sectors gained jobs over the year in the state, while information, manufacturing, and natural resources and mining lost jobs. The unemployment rate in Arizona dropped to 5.8% in May from 6.0% in April.

There were 1,435 bankruptcy filings in Arizona during May, down 26.2% from the same time last year. Year-to-date bankruptcies are down 20.3%. The Yuma office (handling La Paz, Mohave, and Yuma counties) has the greatest year-to-date decrease at 29.1% compared to a decrease of 20.8% for the Phoenix office (Apache, Coconino, Gila, Maricopa, Navajo, and Yavapai counties) and decrease of 16.6% for the Tucson office (Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties).

There were 5,169 initial unemployment claims filed in Arizona the last week of May. The four-week average was 4,673, up 168 from the week prior. To add some perspective, initial jobless claims in Arizona stood at 6,100 at the end of May 2014, nearly a 1,000 more than this year. Continued claims were at 42,203 this time last year compared to 35,105 currently. Jobless claims nationally were a seasonally adjusted 267,000 the week ending June 12. The four-week moving average, which reduces volatility, declined slightly to 276,750.

Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.

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