In November of 2011, the Governor and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) estimated that Utah’s economy could grow fast enough to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. Last week, Governor Herbert announced that over the 32 month period, Utah exceeded the goal, and added 112,200 new jobs.
To better understand the impact of adding over 100,000 new jobs, it is necessary to understand the data source used by GOMB to estimate the employment growth. Each month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects employment information from businesses through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. BLS uses the survey results to model employment totals at the state level. This process introduces significant survey error, which is why the CES employment totals are benchmarked annually to more accurate sources that come in later (BLS’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages [QCEW]). For the 1,000 day goal, GOMB used Utah’s seasonally adjusted CES estimates as the barometer for Utah’s employment gains, as they provide the most timely employment estimate available (as discussed here and here). The actual count of jobs over that period is yet to come through the QCEW data, but we do not anticipate it altering the outcome.
Let’s take a closer look at the data and discuss the progress in Utah’s labor market over the 1,000 days.
The following chart shows that total state employment has actually been accelerating since early 2010, over a year before the trigger point. The labor market grew 4 percent from February 2010 – the employment nadir – to November 2011 – the starting point for the 1,000 days. During that period, the economy added approximately 2,200 jobs per month, which equates to a monthly growth rate of 0.2 percent. The Utah economy accelerated even more in the six months prior to November 2011, adding around 2,900 jobs per month. After November 2011, the number of new jobs added to the economy continued to increase to a monthly average of roughly 3,600 new jobs per month – a monthly growth rate of 0.3 percent.
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The image below highlights the number of jobs added to each industry according to the CES. Trade, transportation and utilities (the largest industry) added the most employees, while construction (the industry hardest hit by the recession) experienced the largest percentage increase over the 1,000 days. The overall 100,000 job gain was nicely spread across all of Utah’s industrial sectors, which each largely growing in proportion to is size.
- Mining and Logging: added 600 jobs (5.0 percent)
- Information: added 4,000 jobs (13.2 percent)
- Other Services: added 3,200 jobs (9.3 percent)
- Construction: added 13,800 jobs (20.8 percent)
- Manufacturing: added 8,600 jobs (7.5 percent)
- Leisure and Hospitality: added 15,000 jobs (13.2 percent)
- Education and Health Services: added 16,600 jobs (10.4 percent)
- Professional and Business Services: added 16,200 jobs (9.9 percent)
- Government: added 10,200 jobs (4.6 percent)
- Trade, Transportation, Utilities: added 19,300 jobs (8.2 percent)
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