The latest economic numbers are out — and it’s mostly good news.
The UCCS Economic Forum sys that consumer sentiment dropped in October from September’s 91. 2 value to 87.2. Tatiana Bailey, executive director of the forum, says that November consumer sentiment numbers could reflect consumer sentiments about the presidential election. During 2016, she says, expected increases for consumer spending in the next 12 months were between 2.5 an 2.7 percent.
“Many economists are now saying these projections may change, however, if we have inflationary pressures that typically accompany new tariffs,” she said. President-Elect Donald J. Trump has said that he will renegotiate trade deals and pressure China to stop devaluing its currency. He’s also said he’ll apply tariffs to Chinese-made goods, which could force prices to increase.
Unemployment in the United States is around 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures. That equates to 7.8 million people, with an additional 5.9 million employed part-time, but who want full-time jobs; and 1.7 million who are looking for work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks. Those people are counted in the U-6 rate, Bailey says, bringing the actual unemployment rate to 9.6 percent.
New jobs include health care, professional and business services and financial activities. The civilian participation rate has stayed relatively unchanged and was 62.8% in October, according to the latest data.
In El Paso County, there are more jobs available than people looking for work, and the county continues to meet the necessary target of new jobs and new population. The county would need 5,400 new jobs to meet its population demands, and has exceeded that number with 8,004 new jobs in 2015. For the first three quarters of 2016, the region had 8,283 new jobs.
The local median hope price is up 8.9 percent in the third quarter. Prices increased 5.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the UCCS forum said.
And the hotel occupancy rate continues to rise in El Paso County, bringing more people to the region. From October 2013 to October 2016, hotel occupancy has increased by 30 percent and the average room rate has seen a 49 percent increase.