- Phoenix employment is maintaining its positive trend while unemployment remains unchanged through 2013Q2. Payroll employment grew 2.4 percent year over year in Q2. Household employment grew 1.0 percent year over year in Q2, while the labor force only grew 0.2 percent year over year. The unemployment rate of 6.7 percent went unchanged for the region in the first half of 2013. The outlook for payroll employment is positive. July nonfarm payroll employment increased by approximately 14,000, though two key industry sectors, construction and financial activities, showed decreases.
- Housing starts in Phoenix were a mixed bag in Q2. Total housing starts grew by 20.7 percent year over year in Q2; led by multifamily starts which grew 165.5 percent year over year from a 2,062 unit annual rate in 2012Q2 to a 5,475 unit annual rate in 2013Q2. Over the same time period, single-family starts declined by 1.8 percent from a 13,273 unit annual rate in 2012Q2 to a 13,035 unit annual rate in 2013Q2. The limited supply of single-family housing helped boost prices by 15.3 percent year over year in Q2, according to the FHFA, which more than doubles the national average of 6.7 percent. Homeowners’ equity continues to grow which will boost retail sales throughout the Phoenix region for the remainder of the year.
- The Justice Department’s lawsuit to stop the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways is creating uncertainty in both Tempe and Fort Worth. Headquarters for the proposed “super-airline” was set to be Fort Worth, TX where American’s parent company, AMR, is located. If the merger is blocked, it would be expected that U.S. Airways would maintain full headquarter operations at its current Tempe location.
Click here for the complete Phoenix MSA Regional Economic Update: Phoenix 2013Q2.