by Valorie H. Rice
Senior Specialist, Business Information
Both Pima and Maricopa counties had larger employment growth than the nation between June 2016 and June 2017, according to the quarterly county employment and wages report release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 5. National job growth was 1.7% while Pima was 1.8% and Maricopa 3.3%. (These are the only Arizona counties included in the release, though data are available for all counties.) Pima County had substantial over the year average weekly wage increases for the second quarter 2017 at 4.2% compared to 1.6% for Maricopa and 3.2% for the U.S. New Hannover, NC had the highest increase in average weekly wage for the nation at 11.9% during that time period.
The U.S. added 228,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics December 8 release. Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month so far this year. Professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care added the largest number of jobs in the last month. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1% and the labor force participation rate remained at 62.7%.
The 2012-2016 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates were released December 7. These data cover all geographies, so we are able to get data for all Arizona counties rather than just the most populous ones. Educational attainment improved in most Arizona counties since the 2007-2011 ACS. Nationally, as well as locally, commute times and poverty rates were up while median income was down. About 7.5 million workers in the U.S. uses public transportation which translates to 5.1%. That number was just 2.0% in Arizona and the county with the highest percentage of workers using public transportation was Pima County with 2.8%. This is just a taste of the information available. We will be presenting more of it in the coming weeks, both in Arizona’s Economy and on the MAP Dashboard.
Bankruptcies in Arizona were higher year-over-year for eight of the last 11 months. There were 1,301 filings in November compared to 1,084 the same time last year, an increase of 20.0%. Year-to-date bankruptcies were up 4.7% in Arizona, 4.0% for the Phoenix office, 9.5% for the Tucson office and down 7.3% for the Yuma office. Phoenix office covers Apache, Coconino, Gila, Maricopa, Navajo, and Yavapai counties. Tucson office covers Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties. Yuma office covers La Paz, Mohave, and Yuma counties.
The U.S. trade deficit rose to $48.7 billion in October, up $3.8 billion from September. Imports increased $3.8 billion to $244.6 billion for October while exports were down slightly at $195.9 billion. April through September goods and services deficit figures were all revised upward with the December 5 Bureau of Economic Analysis release. Year-to-date the deficit was up 11.9% over the same time last year.
Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.3% in the third quarter as stated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis November 29 release. This was the “second” estimate for the third quarter figure, slightly above the advance estimate of 3.0%. Another estimate will be released December 21. Real GDP increased 3.1% in the second quarter 2017.
House prices increased in all states between the third quarter of 2016 and third quarter 2017 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index (HPI) November 28 release. Prices appreciated 10.0% over the year in Arizona on a seasonally adjusted basis for the Purchase-Only HPI, while the U.S. increased 6.5%. This placed Arizona 4th among all states and the District of Columbia (which had the highest price appreciation). The release provides house price data for metropolitan areas using the All-Transactions HPI, which includes both purchase and refinance mortgages. The one-year change in home prices for Arizona metros for the third quarter were: 7.4% in Flagstaff, 10.4% in Lake Havasu City-Kingman, 9.9% in Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, 11.4% in Prescott, 8.7% in Sierra Vista-Douglas, 8.7% in Tucson, and 4.1% in Yuma.
The September S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices also were released on November 28. The one-year change in home prices for Phoenix was 6.1% compared to 6.2% for the U.S. and the 20-city composite. Seattle had the highest one-year change at 12.9% out of the 20 cities.
Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.