How Seasonal is Your Economy?

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.” –Plato

Utah’s counties experience the ebb and flow of seasonal employment differently

Seasonality is a common characteristic of employment data. Weather, vacations, holiday spending and school years can all affect the number of workers looking for work or the number of jobs that are available. Utah’s counties are affected differently by seasonality. Some county employment totals vacillate dramatically in a decided pattern throughout each year. In other counties, the changing seasons bring little variation to number of overall filled jobs. In another group of counties, summer and winter seasonality smooth the overall pattern. More...

Utah's Employment Summary: April 2019

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for April 2019 grew by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 48,600 jobs to the economy since April 2018. Utah’s current employment level registers 1,555,400. March’s year-over job growth rate of 3.0 percent was revised up to 3.1 percent.

April’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.9 percent is down from March’s 3.0 percent and marks the lowest rate in Utah since December 2007. Approximately 46,000 Utahns were unemployed and actively seeking work during the month. The national unemployment rate lowered two percentage points to 3.6 percent. This is the nation’s lowest unemployment rate since 1969. More...

Who Rules Wage Growth?

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.” –David Mamet

You might be surprised — older Utahns are working longer and earning more

Baby boomers may be the longest-working generation in more than half a century. For whatever reason, many baby boomers consistently report that they plan on working past their 60s. And, they seem to be sticking to that plan and making more in wages than their predecessors did to boot.

The baby-boom generation is certainly the defining demographic feature of our age. This large cohort born after World War II (between 1946 and 1964) represents the “pig in the python” of modern population figures. The first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and many appear to be working past that age. However, the trend for longer labor force participation and higher earnings started years before baby boomers started reaching retirement age. In a recent U.S. Census Bureau webinar “Older People Working Longer, Earning More,” James Spletzer outlined this national trend. But, what about the Beehive State with her unusually young demographics? Are older Utahns following the national pack? They are indeed. More...