Utah Jobless Rate at 3.4 Percent

SALT LAKE CITY — Jobs in the Beehive State are still plentiful, according to a new report.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported Wednesday that nonfarm payroll employment for January 2016 grew by an estimated 3 percent, adding 40,100 jobs to the economy since January 2015. Currently, 1,380,800 Utahns are registered as gainfully employed.

The January seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3.4 percent, with about 49,600 Utahns considered unemployed and actively seeking work. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate declined slightly to register at 4.9 percent.

In Utah, eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the survey posted net job increases in the month January compared to the same period last year. The exceptions were the Natural Resources and Mining Industry job category, which lost 2,000 positions, and Other Services, which shed 1,100 positions.

The largest private sector employment increases came in Leisure and Hospitality, up 8,400 jobs; Education and Health Services, up 8,000 jobs; and Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which added 7,900 jobs. The fastest employment growth occurred in Leisure and Hospitality, rising 6.6 percent; Construction, up 6.1 percent; and Financial Activities, which climbed 5.7 percent.

“Utah’s labor market is on solid footing with robust positioning in 2015 and a strong start to 2016,” said the department's chief economist Carrie Mayne. “Annual data revisions are now complete and show the 2015 annual average for unemployment at 3.5 percent and job growth at 3.7 percent. This is a firm base from which to operate in 2016.”

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Deseret News Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:45