|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Page 10 The Ogden Valley news Volume XIV Issue XIV October 1, 2007 Interest Rate Cuts By the Federal Reserve Helps Small Businesses Highlights • The Zions Bank Small Business Index for Utah was 107.8 in August 2007, up from a revised 106.8 in July 2007. • Utah's unemployment rate was estimated at 2.7% in the latest month, up slightly from the prior month's 2.6% rate. Total Utah employment is up an estimated 56,800 jobs during the past 12 months. • Weber County experienced job growth of 3,300 jobs (3.6%) from a year ago. Joblessness registered 3.2%, down from the 3.5% unemployment rate one year ago. • Weber County's small business sector will benefit in coming months by cuts in the Federal Reserve's key short-term interest rate. • The U.S. economy lost 4,000 net jobs in August, sharply below market expectations and the first decline in four years. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.6%. Fed to the Rescue U.S. employment data for the month of August can only be described as dismal. Such weaker employment data may be on tap for awhile before the economy regains its sea legs, presumably as 2008 progresses. We continue to expect the U.S. economy to avoid recession, although we could easily flirt with one. Aside from employment and housing, auto sales have improved in recent weeks. Retail sales have also come in stronger than expected. A recent survey of manufacturing also noted continuing growth. In addition, global economic growth remains impressive. You can expect to hear more about a “growth recession” in coming months, the notion that while the economy could technically avoid a recession, it could feel like one. The second quarter’s strong 4.0% real (after inflation) economic growth pace could slow to between 1.0% and 2.0% over the balance of the year. We still expect more solid performance in 2008. The Federal Reserve’s move reducing the federal funds rate is the first decline in four years. Forecasters expect an additional cut on October 31. Many forecasters now expect the federal funds rate to be at or close to 4.50% by the end of the year. Financing costs are a component of the Utah Small Business Index. Open HOuse saturdays 2-6 pm Utah Employment The Utah unemployment rate—the most heavily weighted component of the Zions Bank Small Business Index for Utah—was estimated at 2.7% in the latest month, up slightly from the prior month’s 2.6% rate, and the highest level since October 2006. The 2.7% rate compares to a jobless rate of 2.9% during the same month one year ago. A jobless rate of 2.3% in February ranked with the lowest ever recorded in the state and was the lowest in the continental U.S. A higher Utah unemployment rate is a positive contributor to the Index as it implies increased access to Utah labor. Utah’s unemployment rate averaged 2.9% in 2006, 4.3% in 2005, 5.1% in 2004, 5.7% in 2003 and in 2002, and 4.4% in 2001. These rates compare to an average Utah unemployment rate of 3.5% between 1995 and 1999. Total Utah employment rose by an estimated 56,800 jobs (up 4.7%) over the past 12 months. The 4.7% rise is one of the strongest annualized Utah gains in more than 10 years, and is the strongest job growth rate in the nation. This rise compares to a revised gain of 55,300 jobs in the prior year-over-year period. Utah added 55,200 jobs in 2006, 43,700 jobs in 2005, and 30,200 jobs in 2004. These totals compare to gains averaging 38,000 new jobs annually during the 1994-2000 period and a net loss of 1,300 jobs in 2001 through 2003. Stronger job gains, leading to better income creation and stronger retail spending, have a positive impact upon Utah’s small businesses...and therefore, the Index. The Zions Bank Small Business Index for Utah was 107.8 during August 2007, up from a revised 106.8 during July 2007. The Index measures business conditions from the viewpoint of the Utah small business owner or manager. A higher Index number is associated with more favorable business “conditions” for Utah’s small businesses. The Index uses 100.0 for calendar year 1997 as its base year. The Index includes revisions to various historical and new forecast components as they become available. Cache County employment grew by 1,300 jobs (2.9%) in the latest 12-month period. The area’s jobless rate was 2.3%, down from the 2.6% rate of one year ago. Davis County payrolls expanded by 4,400 jobs (4.3%) in the past year. The unemployment rate was 2.7% in the latest month, down from 3.1% one year ago. Salt Lake County employment rose by 26,400 jobs (4.6%) over the year. The county’s unemployment rate fell to 2.6% in the latest month, down from 3.0% last year. Utah County employment grew by 10,400 jobs (6.0%) over the last 12 months. The area’s jobless rate was 2.6%, down from the 3.1% rate of one year ago. Washington County payrolls expanded by 2,700 jobs (5.2%) in the past year. The unemployment rate was 2.7% in the latest month, down from 3.1% one year ago. National Employment The U.S. Department of Labor reported a net loss of 4,000 jobs in August 2007, the first reported employment decline in four years, and sharply below the consensus view of a gain of 100,000 jobs. Reported gains of the two prior months were revised lower by 81,000 jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.6% in August, matching July’s rate as well as matching the highest level in 12 months. March’s 4.4% jobless rate matched that of October 2006 as the lowest in more than five years. The average hourly wage rose 0.3% (five cents) to $17.50 hourly, a rise of 3.9% over the past 12 months. Goods-producing employment declined in August, with a net loss of 64,000 jobs. Construction employment fell by 22,000 positions, while manufacturing lost 46,000 jobs. Service-providing employment led the way in August with a rise of 60,000 net new jobs, although the weakest gain in two years. The education & health services sector added 63,000 net new positions, while the professional & business services sector added only 6,000 jobs. The leisure & hospitality sector added 12,000 net new jobs, while the government sector lost a questionable 28,000 jobs. This latest data now suggests that the U.S. economy added a less-than-impressive average of 44,000 net new jobs monthly during the June-August period, down sharply from the 147,000 average monthly gain in 2007’s first five months, as well as the 189,000 average monthly gain in 2006. The September 2007 Zions Bank Small Business Index for Utah will be released on October 9, 2007. Zions Bank is Utah’s oldest financial institution. Founded in 1873, Zions has been serving the communities of Utah for more than 130 years. For more information, contact Zions Bank’s Eden office at 745-0835, or log on to <www.zionsbank.com> Utah Ophthalmologists and EyeCare America Promote Healthy Aging Tips The Utah Ophthalmology Society in partnership with EyeCare America, a national non-profit organization that provides eye exams and eye health information to medically underserved communities, offers five tips for a healthy aging eye. “We find that many people don’t pay attention to their health until something goes wrong,” said Scott O. Sykes, M.D., President of the Utah Ophthalmology Society. “By providing tips for a healthy aging eye, we are hoping to encourage seniors to be more proactive in the care of their eyes and vision.” Local Performance Weber County experienced job growth EyeCare America’s 5 Tips for a Healthy of 3,300 jobs (3.6%) from a year ago. Aging Eye Joblessness registered 3.2%, down from the 3.5% unemployment rate one year ago. 1. Vitamin A is great for your eyes and will help you maintain healthy vision. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, yams and dark leafy greens. 2. Find out your family history of eye disease. In many cases, having a family member with an eye disease, such as glaucoma, greatly increases your chance of getting the disease. 3. Protect your eyes from the sun. Over exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to cataracts. Your sunglasses should have UVA and UVB protection. 4. If you are over 65 years of age, have your eyes examined annually. 5. Call EyeCare America’s Seniors EyeCare Program1-800-222-EYES (3937) to see if you qualify for a free eye exam. The Utah Ophthalmology Society encourages people to call the EyeCare America Seniors EyeCare Program. This program offers eye exams and up to one year of medical care at no out-of-pocket cost for seniors who are without an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor). To see if you, a loved one, or a friend, 65 and older, is eligible to receive a referral for an eye exam and care, call 1-800-222-EYES (3937). The Seniors EyeCare Program help line operates 24 hours a day, every day, year-round. EyeCare America operates one of the largest programs of its kind in American medicine. Here in Utah, EyeCare America and its 63 volunteer ophthalmologists have served more than 2,536 people. EyeCare America’s Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for people who: • Are US citizens or legal residents • Are age 65 and older • Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years • Do not belong to an HMO or the VA Volunteer physicians have agreed to accept Medicare or other insurance as payment in full, resulting in no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Individuals without insurance of any kind are seen at no charge. The Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for seniors without an ophthalmologist and is co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. and Alcon. Visit EyeCare America’s website at <www.eyecareamerica.org> $795,000 One in a million Country Farm House in secluded East Huntsville overlooking the Monastery’s pristine properties. Incredible custom details throughout. Fantastic floor plan with a unique 600 SF guest bedroom/office space above garage. Owner/Agent. MLS #703705 Call Jeff Good - Season’s Real Estate at (801) 710-3932.