Utah’s unemployment level at 2% as job market surges

PARK CITY, Utah — Utah’s employment numbers have continued to make steady growth as the non-farm payroll employment increased by an estimated 4.0% across the past 12 months, with the state’s economy adding a cumulative 62,900 jobs since March 2021. With the addition of those jobs, Utah’s current job count stands at 1,650,800.

March’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 2.0%, with approximately 33,400 Utahn’s unemployed. February’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 2.1%. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in March from 3.8% a month earlier. It’s only an inch off the February 2020 pre-pandemic rate of 3.5%, which was a 50-year low.

“It is another month to sing the praises of the Utah economy,” said Mark Knold, Chief Economist at the Department of Workforce Services. “Job growth across the past year is quite strong at 4.0%. In response, the unemployment rate took another historical notch downward to 2.0%. All industry sectors save one have added new jobs over the past year. The lone exception is the professional and business services sector. That area includes help supply services, telemarking, collection agencies, etc. With unemployment rock bottom at 2.0%, excess labor is virtually non-existent, so this industry’s inability to supply the market with idled workers or to attract labor for its own needs is not a surprise.”

Utah’s March private sector employment recorded a year-over-year expansion of 4.4%. Nine of Utah’s 10 major private-sector industry groups posted net year-over-year job gains, led by Trade, Transportation, Utilities (16,100 jobs); Leisure & Hospitality (13,600 jobs); Construction (7,100 jobs); and Education and Health Services (6,800 jobs). The only sector to not record any job growth is professional and business services.

Graph of Summit County unemployment rate from January 2020 to February 2022.
Graph of Summit County unemployment rate from January 2020 to February 2022. Photo: St. Louis Fed.

As for Summit County, after a steady decline through the end of last year down to 1.2%, unemployment went back up to 2.0% to begin 2022. However, that number has since dropped to 1.8% for the month of February according to data from St. Louis Fed.

Largest private sector gains in Utah the past year:

  • Trade, Transportation, Utilities: 16,100 jobs
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 13,600 jobs
  • Construction: 7,100 jobs
  • Education and Health Services: 6,800 jobs

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