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ST. LOUIS  Jan. 2, 2019 – Americans are on the move, relocating to western and southern parts of the country. The results of United Van Lines’ 42nd Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, revealed that more residents moved out of New Jersey than any other state in 2018, with 66.8 percent of New Jersey moves being outbound. The study also found that the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration was Vermont (72.6 percent), with 234 total moves. Oregon, which had 3,346 total moves, experienced the second highest percentage nationally, with 63.8 percent inbound moves. 



States in the Mountain West and Pacific West regions, including OregonIdaho (62.4 percent), Nevada (61.8 percent), Washington (58.8 percent) and South Dakota (57 percent) continue to increase in popularity for inbound moves. In tune with this trend, Arizona (60.2 percent) joined the list of top 10 inbound states in 2018.

Several southern states also experienced high percentages of inbound migration, such as South Carolina (59.9 percent) and North Carolina (57 percent). United Van Lines determined the top reasons for moving south include job change (46.6 percent) and retirement (22.3 percent).



In the Northeast, however, an outbound moving trend continues. New Jersey (66.8 percent), Connecticut (62 percent) and New York (61.5 percent) were included among the top 10 outbound states for the fourth consecutive year. Midwestern states like Illinois (65.9 percent), Kansas (58.7 percent), Ohio (56.5 percent) and Iowa (55.5 percent) saw high outbound relocation as well.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, our study allows us to identify the most and least popular states for residential relocation throughout the country, year after year,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “These findings accurately reflect not only where Americans are moving to and from, but also the reasons why.”

The National Movers Study reveals the business data of inbound and outbound moves from 2018. In addition to this study, United Van Lines also conducts a survey to find out more about the reasons behind these moves. A leading motivation behind these migration patterns across all regions is a career change, as the survey showed approximately one out of every two people who moved in the past year moved for a new job or company transfer. Other reasons for the high percentage of moves to the Mountain West in 2018 include retirement (28.1 percent), proximity to family (20.8 percent) and lifestyle change (19.4 percent). Compared to all other states, Idaho saw the largest influx of new residents desiring a lifestyle change (25.95 percent), and more people flocked to New Mexico for retirement than any other state (42.74 percent).

“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Unlike a few decades ago, retirees are leaving California, instead choosing other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West. We’re also seeing young professionals migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, D.C. and Seattle.”

Moving In

The top inbound states of 2018 were:

VermontOregonIdahoNevadaArizonaSouth CarolinaWashingtonNorth CarolinaSouth DakotaDistrict of Columbia

New to the 2018 top inbound list are Arizona at No. 5 and District of Columbia at No. 10, with 60.2 percent and 56.7 percent inbound moves, respectively.

Moving Out

The top outbound states for 2018 were:

New JerseyIllinoisConnecticutNew YorkKansasOhioMassachusettsIowaMontanaMichigan

New Jersey (66.8 percent), which has ranked in the top 10 for the past 10 years, moved up one spot on the outbound list to No. 1. New additions to the 2018 top outbound list include Iowa (55.5 percent), Montana (55 percent) and Michigan (55 percent).

Balanced

In several states, the number of residents moving inbound was approximately the same as the number moving outbound. Arkansas and Mississippi are among these “balanced states.”

Since 1977, United Van Lines has annually tracked migration patterns on a state-by-state basis. The 2018 study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. and ranks states based off the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.

Source: United Van Lines 2018 National Movers Survey

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THE ECONOMY: JANUARY 5, 2019


The numbers: The U.S. gained 312,000 new jobs in December, capping off the biggest increase in hiring in three years and showing that second longest economic expansion in U.S. history still has plenty of staying power despite growing worries about a slowdown.

The surge in hiring was the largest since February. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 182,000 increase.  Hiring in November and October was also stronger than originally reported, the government said Friday.



The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 3.9% from a 49-year low of 3.7%. The percentage of working-age Americans in the labor force climbed to a one-and-a-half-year high as more people looked for jobs. That’s usually seen as a good sign since it means people think work is easier to find.  Strong hiring has also given workers more bargaining power with their bosses. The amount of money the average worker earns climbed 11 cents, or 0.4% to $27.48 an hour last month.

What’s more, the increase in pay in the past 12 months rose to 3.2% from 3.1%, matching a post-recession high set earlier in the year.  The strong jobs gain at year end presents a quandary for the Federal Reserve and Wall Street.

Other reports suggest the economy is slowing, but a tight labor market and rising wages could also put upward pressure on inflation. The Fed has to keep inflation at bay without slowing the economy if it continues to raises rates as expected.

What happened: The increase in jobs was widespread at the end of the year.


Health-care providers hired 50,000 people, professional firms filled 43,000 positions, manufacturers added 32,000 jobs, construction firms beefed up payrolls by 32,000 and restaurants employed 41,000 additional workers.  Some of the increase in hiring in December was likely the result of poor weather in November that kept some workers home in fields such as construction.

Employment gains for November and October, however, were also revised upby a combined 58,000.

Indeed, the U.S. added an average of 254,000 jobs a month in the fourth quarter, the biggest increase since 2016.

Big picture: The economy is still on sound footing despite signs of softening in areas such as housing and manufacturing. As long as most Americans are working, a recession is unlikely in 2019.  The big worry is that a global economic slowdown will hurt U.S. corporate earnings and spur companies to reduce hiring or even lay off more workers. The Fed has also been gradually raising interest rates, making it more expensive to borrow to buy a home or take out a loan.

What they are saying: “The U.S. economy will eventually fall into recession, maybe as soon as next year, but the December employment report indicates that this isn’t going to happen anytime soon,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance.  “Today’s all around strong jobs report confirms that the economy ended 2018 on a strong note and came as a timely reminder that fundamentals remain solid,” wrote economists Lydia Boussour and Gregory Daco at Oxford Economics

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +3.29% and S&P 500 SPX, +3.43% surged in Friday trades after a big loss on Thursday triggered by fresh worries about an economic slowdown.

The 10-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.00% stood at 2.66%. Yields have tumbled from a seven-year high of 3.23% in October.

Source: The Street.com, Marketwatch.com

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THE ECONOMY: DECEMBER 27, 2018


Home prices continued to ratchet down their advances in October, fewer than half of the tracked cities saw prices increase on an unadjusted basis. The slowing is also beginning to show up in the annual readings. The Case-Shiller National Home Price Index which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.5 percent annual gain in October, unchanged from the year-over-year reading in September. That index had not been below 6.0 percent for a year until it dropped to 5.7 percent in August. Before seasonal adjustment the National Index managed a 0.1 percent gain for the month and 05 percent after adjustment.

The 10-City Composite was up year-over-year by 4.7 percent, down from 4.9 percent the previous month and the 20-City Composite posted a 5.0 change, also 0.2 point lower than in September. Neither of the composites reported any change for the month on an unadjusted basis, but after seasonal adjustment the 10-City Composite was up 0.5 percent and the 20-City Composite gained 0.4 percent. Nine of 20 cities reported increases before seasonal adjustment, while 18 of 20 cities reported increases afterward.

Seattle, for the first time in recent memory, was not among the fastest appreciating cities.  Las Vegas led the way with a 12.8 percent pace followed by San Francisco with a 7.9 percent gain. Phoenix was the new entry at 7.7 percent.  Month-over-month prices in Seattle declined for the second consecutive month and its annual increase is now 7.3 percent. Six of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending October 2018 versus the year ending September 2018.

"Home prices in most parts of the U.S. rose in October from September and from a year earlier," says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The combination of higher mortgage rates and higher home prices rising faster than incomes and wages means fewer people can afford to buy a house. Fixed rate 30-year mortgages are currently 4.75 percent, up from 4 percent one year earlier. Home prices are up 54 percent or 40 percent excluding inflation, since they bottomed in 2012. Reduced affordability is slowing sales of both new and existing single-family homes. Sales peaked in November 2017 and have drifted down since then. "The largest gains were seen in Las Vegas where home prices rose 12.8 percent in the last 12 months, compared to an average of 5.3 percent across the other 19 cities. This is a marked change from the housing collapse in 2006-12 when Las Vegas was the hardest hit city with prices down 62 percent. After the last recession, Las Vegas diversified its economy by adding a medical school, becoming a regional center for health care, and attracting high technology employers. Employment is increasing 3 percent annually, twice as fast as the national rate."

All three Case-Shiller indices are above their previous peaks in the summer of 2006.  The National Index is 11.6 percent higher while the 10-City and 20-City have added 0.6 percent and 3.6 percent respectively to their previous records.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are constructed to accurately track the price path of typical single-family home pairs for thousands of individual houses from the available universe of arms-length sales data. The National U.S. Home Price Index tracks the value of single-family housing within the United States. The indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000; thus, for example, a current index value of 150 translates to a 50 percent appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the subject market. 

The National Index set another new record in October, a reading of 206.03.  September's peak was 205.82.  The 10- and 20-City Composites had readings of 227.65 and 213.89 respectively.  Los Angeles claims the highest index at 283.03.  Cleveland had the lowest reading at 123.85, down from 124.26 in September.

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