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July 8th, 2013

The Monday Morning Quarterback
A quick analysis of important economic data released over the last week

Arizona Snapshot:

Total claims for Arizona unemployment insurance have stalled after significant reductions earlier in the spring.  Nonetheless, the reductions from last year are noteworthy.  As for unemployment rates, reductions continue in the state and in Greater Phoenix.  This is due to some employment gains combined with declines in the labor force. 

Arizona and Greater Phoenix lodging performance continue to make modest gains due to increases in demand combined with virtually no new supply.

U.S. Snapshot 

Jobs grew more rapidly than expected and were revised upward for April and May.  Many of the jobs were part time in response to the new health care law.  Retail and hospitality had the largest gains.  The labor force also started to grow again.  The national unemployment rate was unchanged.  Initial unemployment insurance weekly claims were virtually unchanged from the previous week. 

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index was up slightly and indicates modest expansion.  The non-manufacturing index was also up.  Manufacturing new orders increased as well.   Sales of autos and light trucks continued to do well as did construction spending.  Overall, it was not a bad week.


Even though Arizona weekly unemployment insurance claims were actually up for the week ending June 29th, they are still down 39.2% from year earlier levels.  The indicator bears watching, however.   Arizona's unemployment rate declined to 7.8% compared to 8.4% a year ago.  The unemployment rate in Greater Phoenix is also considerably lower.  In May 2013, the unemployment rate was 6.8% compared to 7.5% a year ago.   It is worth noting that the labor force is actually 1.2% lower today than it was a year ago.  This is due primarily to discouraged workers dropping out of the job hunt.  As things continue to improve, look for the labor force to grow again. 

For the state as a whole, lodging demand was up 1.4% as occupancy increased to 58.8%, in May, up from 58.0% a year ago.  Supply, on the other hand, remained virtually flat.  In Metro Phoenix, occupancy was 58.0%, up from 56.3% a year ago and supply was unchanged.


Employment figures were better than expected.  Total nonfarm employment grew by 195,000 in June on a seasonally adjusted basis.  April and May were revised upward as well.  In June, job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality and retail as well as in professional and business services, health care and financial activities.  A significant number of these jobs were part time-about 30 hours a week-as employers attempt to avoid the heavy costs of Obamacare.  The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6% as the labor force increased slightly. 

The ISM's manufacturing index increased from 49.0 in May to 50.9 in June.  Any reading of 50 or above indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding.  Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 were reporting growth in June.  The ISM non-manufacturing index was reported at 52.2 in June compared to 53.7 in May.  While down for the month, the reading still indicates expansion.  For many, manufacturers' new orders were up 3.6% from a year ago and up 2.1% from April.  Sales of autos and light trucks continued in June as sales were up 10.9% from a year ago and 4.3% from May.


About EDPCo
Elliott D. Pollack & Company (EDPCo) offers a broad range of economic and real estate consulting services backed by one of the most comprehensive databases found in the nation. This information makes it possible for the firm to conduct economic forecasting, develop economic impact studies and prepare demographic analyses and forecasts. Econometric modeling and economic development analysis and planning are also part of our capabilities. EDPCo staff includes professionals with backgrounds in economics, urban planning, financial analysis, real estate development and government. These professionals serve a broad client base of both public and private sector entities that range from school districts and utility companies to law firms and real estate developers. 

For more information, contact --


 Elliott D. Pollack & company
7505 East Sixth Avenue, Suite 100
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

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