Monday Report
Solstice December 21st, 2007

The Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Science Part IV

Utah Economic Snapshot - First Five Months

Economic Notes:



As the sun and moon renew themselves and we honor the closing of circles.

Once again we learn, that even in the darkest moments.

Health, serenity, and healing are available.

Bless our connections with the ancients.

Bless our connections with each other.

Bless our connections with future generations.

Bless our connections with the circles of the seasons.

Bless our connections with places of beauty and solitude.

Celebration is at hand.

Celebrating the renewal of bonds of kinship.

Celebrating the renewal of bonds of friendship.

Celebrating those who have touched our lives.

Celebrating the return of the sun and longer days.



Adapted from old Danish and Celtic Solstice Poems

Utah Labor Market Indicators - Nov 2007 (Oct 07)

  • Employment Growth: 4.0% (4.3%)
  • Employment Increase: 48,900 (52,500)
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (2.7%)

Source: Utah Dept of Workforce Services, 12/18/07

U.S. Labor Market Indicators - Nov 2007 (Oct 07)

  • Employment Growth: 1.0% (1.2%)
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (4.7%)

Source: Utah Dept of Workforce Services, 12/18/07

Where Are the New Jobs? - Nov 2007

  • State Total (Market Share) 48,795 +4.0%
  • Salt Lake County (46.4%) 22,663 +3.8%
  • Utah County (19.8%) 9,640 +5.2%
  • Washington County (5.7%) 2,786 +5.3%
  • Weber County (5.5%) 2,692 +2.8%
  • Davis County (5.0%) 2,446 +2.4%
  • Summit County (3.6%) 1,764 +8.7%
  • Uintah County (2.2%) 1,054 +7.6%
  • Box Elder County (2.1%) 1,045 +5.3%
  • Cache County (2.1%) 1,003 +2.0%
  • Tooele County (2.0%) 990 +6.6%
  • Duchesne County (1.5%) 717 +10.3%

Source: Utah Dept of Workforce Services, 12/18/07

What are our new Jobs? - Nov 2007

  • State Total 48,795 +4.0%
  • Specialty Trade Contractors 6,500 +9.5%
  • Health Services and Social Assistance 4,000 +3.7%
  • Accommodation and Food Services 4,000 +4.4%
  • Finance and Insurance 2,800 +5.1%
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 2,700 +4.2%
  • Administration & Support & Waste Mgm't & Remediation 2,000 +2.5%
  • Transportation & Warehousing 1,500 +12.7%
  • Ambulatory Health Care Services 1,500 +3.4%
  • Architectural, Engineering & Related 1,500 +12.7%
  • Heavy and Civil Engineering 1,400 +14.1%
  • computer and Electronic Products 1,300 +10.4%

Source: Utah Dept of Workforce Services, 12/18/07

Where are we losing new jobs? - Nov 2007

  • Business Support Services (700) -4.1%
  • Motion Picture and Sound Recording (500) -10.9%
  • Internet Service Providers (400) -4.1%

Source: Utah Dept of Workforce Services, 12/18/07

General Growth Properties expects to complete its Americana at Brand lifestyle center in Los Angeles this spring. The center, which features luxury condominiums, retail, a movie theater and public park, is across the street from General Growth's Glendale Galleria regional mall.

Urban Revitalization - Creating a catalyst for downtown redevelopment Par II

    Plan for the best

  • Sadly, many of America's urban areas have "died on the vine", and city and business leaders are now faced with the tremendous task of revitalizing these downtown cores. In fact, 62 percent of all major city population growth in the 1990s occurred along suburban borders, compared to just 11 percent in city cores, according to a report from the Brookings Institution's Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.
  • A lack of investment in the downtown cores contributed to the decline and now cities across the nation are trying to figure out how they can take their urban centers from vacant to vibrant. Experts suggest three main strategies: create an organization to bring together business leaders and city officials; design a masterplan to encourage investment; and develop a way to leverage any special attractions in the downtown core.
  • Consider Phoenix, Ariz. - in the late 1980s, the city's core was in "dire straights," according to Don Keuth, president of the Phoenix Community Alliance, a non-profit organization that is focused on center city redevelopment. "Our downtown was really a no man's land," he recalls. "We didn't have any kind of well- funded community organization or governmental entity that stepped up to take ownership."
  • That's when several community leaders decided to create an organization that would be funded by member dues and whose goal was to foster and promote redevelopment of Phoenix's urban core. Thus the Phoenix Community Alliance was born.
  • "Our first step was to assess how bad the situation was," Keuth recalls, adding that the organization partnered with the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architects to craft a new masterplan for the multi-block area known as the Capitol District. Along with all of the state government buildings, Phoenix's Capitol District also houses most of the city's human services organizations.
  • As part of the revitalization, Phoenix Community Alliance created a program for the development of three new state office buildings and partnered with Maricopa County to develop a $22 million human services campus that consolidates all the social service agencies that were spread out over a five- block area. The cornerstone of the campus is the Day Resource Center that houses about 20 agencies that provide a variety of social services including housing assistance, job training and medical care.
  • These revitalization efforts have encouraged private sector development including the $46 million headquarters facility for Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a private, non-profit research institute and the International Genomics Consortium (IGC), a private, non-profit medical research foundation that employs 450 people.
  • Like Phoenix, the City of Spokane also created an organization to lead its urban revitalization. The organization, dubbed the Downtown Spokane Partnership, was formed 12 years ago. Its first step toward revitalization was the creation of the business improvement district, which is comprised of 1,800 businesses and property owners.
  • The Downtown Spokane Partnership is funded by annual assessment fees and its main function is the management of the business improvement district, according to Marty Dickinson, president of Downtown Spokane Partnership. The business improvement district keeps the downtown area clean and safe and it also advocates smart development through its downtown masterplan.
  • Since the inception of the Downtown Spokane Partnership and the business improvement district, Spokane's urban core has been completely transformed. For example, the city's turn-of-the-century Davenport Hotel was renovated and reopened after years of neglect, and its historic Fox Theater just had its grand re-opening last month.
  • "We have learned that if you can make your downtown a clean, safe and inviting place for residents and visitors, it breeds more revitalization," Dickinson adds.

Next Week: Making something special


Good Yule

Utah Employment

  • National Employment
    • Where are the new jobs?
    • What are new jobs?

    The Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Science, Pt IV

    Bob Springmeyer

    Bonneville Research

  • The Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Science Part IV
  • The Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Science Part III

    • You may be able to quote Shakespeare, but what are you like on Big Bang theory?
    • The Financial Times gives non-scientifically minded readers a leg up the tree of knowledge.

    The Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Science Part IV

    • You may be able to quote Shakespeare, but what are you like on Big Bang theory?
    • The Financial Times gives non-scientifically minded readers a leg up the tree of knowledge.

    Quantum mechanics

    • Quantum mechanics grew up alongside relativity in the early 20th century.
    • If anything, quantum mechanics is even more far- reaching than relativity - and even harder to explain. Two mutually contradictory quotes from famous physicists sum up its weirdness and complexity. Niels Bohr: ''If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it.''
    • Richard Feynman: ''I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.''
    • Whereas the effects of relativity are felt mainly on the grand scale studied by astronomers and cosmologists, quantum mechanics is most important when things are extremely small. The first key idea in quantum theory is that energy and matter are not continuous but come in small, discrete packets: quanta.
    • The second is ''wave-particle duality'': all subatomic particles can be regarded as waves as well as particles. Light itself is both a stream of particles - photons - and a series of waves.
    • The most famous consequence of wave-particle duality is the ''uncertainty principle'' originally formulated by Werner Heisenberg in 1927, which puts a limit on how much we can know about a quantum object. It is impossible to measure precisely and simultaneously a particle's position and momentum; the best we can do is define the statistical probability of where a particle such as an electron is likely to be.
      What's next?
    • Quantum effects are important in electronics and nanotechnology - and they will become far more important as miniaturisation proceeds.
      Future developments?
    • The most important application in the medium- term future - say, 30 years from now - may be quantum computing; this would use quantum effects to produce computers far more powerful than today's silicon-based systems.
    • A much more distant practical prospect is teleportation - instantly transferring matter from one place to another without having to travel through conventional time and space.
      Fear factor: sweat and tears
    What's next? - Radiation

    Source: Financial Times, London, 2007

  • Utah Economic Snapshot - First Five Months
  • Utah State Government

    • Sales and Use Taxes (Gen Gov't) -1.9% (+1.2%)
    • Individual Income Taxes (Education) +5.6% (+8.1%)
    • Individual Income Tax Withholding (Education) +7.4% (+10.9%)
    • Corporate Franchise Taxes (Gen Gov't) -6.7% (-11.7%)
    • Motor Fuel Taxes (Transportation) +1.6% (+1.3%)
    • Severance Taxes (Gen Gov't) -2.4% (-10.7%)
    • Wine and Liquor Taxes (Education) +11.7% (-49.4%)

    Source: Utah State Tax Commission, TC-23 12/21/07

    Economic Snapshot - First Five Months (4 mos) FY2008

    Local Government

    • Transient Room Tax +41.3%
    • Tourism, Recreation, Cultural, Convention +10.1% (+23.2%)
    • Municipal Telecommunications License +21.6%
    • Emergency Services Phone Charge +12.3%
    • Public Transit +40.2% (+44.0%)

    Source: Utah State Tax Commission, TC-23 12/21/07

  • Economic Notes:
    • Global Business Confidence
    • Global business sentiment is very weak and fragile. This is particularly true in the U.S. where confidence slumped last week to its lowest level in the five years of this survey, and where it is now consistent with a contracting economy. Expectations regarding the outlook through mid-2008 are particularly bleak, and responses regarding sales strength, inventory investment, and office space are also soft. Confidence is stronger outside the U.S., but it has notably weakened across the globe during the past month. While pricing pressures have risen with oil prices near $100 per barrel, they remain notably muted compared to the pressures that prevailed during previous oil price spurts.
    • GDP
    • GDP growth in the third quarter saw no revision, remaining at 4.9% in the final report. This was equal to the consensus estimate. There was a small upward revision to consumer spending, offset by a small downward revision to investment in inventories. Profits fell slightly in the third quarter. GDP growth in the third quarter was very strong, but current growth is much weaker, due to the ongoing collapse in housing and tighter credit conditions.
    • Treasury International Capital Flows
    • Net long-term TIC flows climbed sharply to $114 billion in October from only $15.4 billion the previous month.
    • U.S. Treasury Current Account
    • The U.S. current account deficit narrowed by 5.5% to $178.5 billion in the third quarter of 2007, from $188.9 billion in the previous quarter. The consensus expected the deficit to narrow to $183.6 billion. The balance on goods and services narrowed by 3.0% to $173.2 billion in the third quarter of 2007, from $178.4 billion in the previous quarter.
    • Risk of Recession
    • With the global financial system unsettled, the housing correction intensifying and business and consumer sentiment very fragile, the risk of recession has increased appreciably since this summer's subprime financial shock. In November, the Moody's Economy.com probability of recession increased to 52%, up from October's downwardly revised 44% (previously 47%) and its highest since 2001. With risks rising, additional Fed easing is needed to keep the economy from falling into a recession.
    • State Personal Income
    • U.S. personal income growth accelerated to 1.4% in the third quarter following an increase of 0.9% in the second quarter. In all but 11 states, income growth either was unchanged or accelerated from the second quarter. Healthcare, professional/business services and state/local government contributed the most to third quarter income growth among industries. Income declined in the construction and real estate industries, having a disproportionate impact in Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada.
    • Initial Jobless Claims
    • Initial jobless claims jumped above expectations this week, increasing by 12,000 up to 346,000. Recent trends in initial claims have been pointing to further weakening in labor markets.
    • NAHB Housing Market Index
    • Homebuilder optimism remained unchanged at 19 in December for the third straight month. While this is a drop of 17 points total since March, the fact that the index is not falling further offers some hope of stabilization. Optimism for future traffic decreased from 17 to 14, while the homebuilders' perspective on the next six months increased two points.
    • New Residential Construction (C20)
    • Housing starts decreased 3.7% to 1.187 million units in November, less than Moody's Economy.com had expected. Housing permits decreased 1.5% during the month. Expect the market to remain soft throughout the year, even with the FOMC lowering the fed funds rate target by another 25 basis points.
    • MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
    • Mortgage demand decreased 19.5% in the week ending December 14. Purchase applications decreased 10.6% and refinance applications decreased 27.3%. Application activity took a dramatic turn for the worse last week, after two weeks of relatively strong increases.
    • Chain Store Sales
    • Chain store sales jumped 1.4% in the week ending December 15, but year-over-year growth slipped to 2.1%, as comparisons were again difficult. The ICSC reported that consumers continue to delay their purchases relative to recent holiday seasons.
    • Oil and Gas Inventories
    • Crude oil inventories fell by 7.6 million barrels for the week ending December 14, according to the Energy Information Administration, well below expectations of a 1.5 million barrel draw. Distillate supplies fell by 2.1 million barrels, below expectations of a 0.5 million barrel build. Gasoline supplies rose by 3.0 million barrels, above expectations of a 0.8 million barrel build. Refinery capacity utilization fell by 1.0 percentage point to 87.8%, below expectations. Today's report will bring higher oil prices.
    • Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
    • Underground storage of natural gas decreased by 121 billion cubic feet during the week ending December 14. Forecasts called for a draw of 133 billion cubic feet. Since this week's report shows a smaller-than-expected draw, it will have a bearish impact on prices.

    Source: Economy.com 2007

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