August 2018 Geo Scores

Categories: Commentary |

August 2018 Geo Scores

September 12, 2018

This week we bring you the August 2018 DIVER Geo Scores.  With jobless rates continuing to fall across the board, we will take a look at where the biggest improvements are and also how other factors like labor participation rates and foreclosure rates are negatively impacting certain areas of the country.

DIVER Geo Scores are designed to quickly communicate the overall economic health of a selected geographic area on a scale of 0 to 10. The Geo Score reflects the relative economic well-being of the location and is available for all States, counties, and approximately 350 of the largest cities. Calculations are released monthly and are based on multiple, meaningful economic and demographic data from the employment, income and housing categories.

Top and Bottom State Level Geo Score for August 2018

Below are the top and bottom ten States ranked by their Geo Scores for August 2018. For a full list of all states and their respective scores, visit our website.

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

Top/Bottom Movers at the State Level

At the State level, jobless rates in July were, on average, 0.52% lower for top mover States compared to 12 months ago with Georgia, Delaware, Rhode Island and Minnesota seeing the greatest decline. Bottom mover Alaska had an appreciable decrease in unemployment from 6.6% (July 2017) to 5.8% (July 2018) but also saw its Labor Force Participation Rate decline. The Unemployment Rates in Idaho and Minnesota set a new series low, below 3% in July. By contrast, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland both posted job losses last month.

In the housing market, Utah had the biggest decrease in foreclosures while Nevada saw 0.05% more foreclosures filings in July. The housing price index in Washington and Idaho also increased by over 20 points in the same time period. Conversely, bottom mover Connecticut showed the smallest annual appreciation in home prices and had 0.02% more foreclosures filings.

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

County Level Geo Scores Top and Bottom Movers

Below are the top and bottom 25 counties ranked by their Geo Scores for August 2018. For a full list of all counties and their respective scores, visit our website.

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

At the county level, most counties experienced year-over-year decreases in their Unemployment Rate, with Zapata County TX, Lake and Peninsula County, AK and Dimmit County, TX registering more than 2% declines. Conversely, Rolette County, ND saw an increase of 3.3% in its jobless rates in July.

When looking at the housing market, the top five top-mover counties in annual appreciation, as measured by the Housing Price Index, were:

  • Gem County, ID + 28.62
  • Polk County, OR + 21.90
  • Uintah County, UT + 16.94
  • Daggett County, UT + 16.94
  • Washington County, ID + 15.43

Top movers Norton County VA and Beckham County OK had seen the smallest housing price appreciation amongst top movers in the second quarter, but foreclosures rates and unemployment rates had decreased significantly in July driving their Geo Scores in the right direction. By contrast, the bottom-mover counties showing negative or slight home price growth were:

  • Tazewell County, IL -3.66
  • Marshall County, IL -3.66

Warren County, NJ had the biggest foreclosures rate increase in July among all bottom movers.

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

City Level Geo Scores Top and Bottom Movers

City and town top movers in general had increases in employment and the housing price index while also having low foreclosures rates. 15 cities in California performed strongly again in August due to significant decreases in jobless rates and continued increases in housing prices. Visalia in California had continuously declined unemployment rates (-3.2%) in July compared to all other top movers.

When looking at City and town bottom movers, almost all locations showed higher foreclosure rates, as well as falling labor force participation numbers. Bossier, LA; Shreveport, LA; and Lawton, OK experienced annual housing price declines in the second quarter of 2018. Additionally, Bloomington, IN; Fargo, ND; Boulder, CO and Greeley, CO had unemployment rates that rose markedly in July.

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

A special thanks to Jane Ma and Julie Wen for their always outstanding effort in pulling together our Geo Scores each month.

Have a great week,

Sue Childs