After months as No. 1 in the nation, Utah has dropped slightly to No. 2 for the percent of jobs it added over the previous 12 months.
It added 52,400 jobs between September 2017 and September 2018, a 3.6 percent increase, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The only state that did better was Florida, which had a 4.8 percent increase in the number of its jobs over that yearlong period. Texas was No. 3 at 3.3 percent.
“The latest job market statistics indicate that our state continues to ride the momentum of healthy expansion,” said Carrie Mayne, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
“Job seekers continue to find employment opportunities, despite a slight softening in the labor force measures,” she said.
Among other statistics released Friday, Utah’s unemployment rate in September was 3.2 percent, a slight increase from 3.1 percent a month earlier. Still, that is significantly below the national rate of 3.7 percent. But that meant more than 50,000 Utahns were seeking jobs.
Hawaii had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.2 percent. Alaska had the highest at 6.5 percent.
Nine of Utah’s 10 major private sector industry groups measured in surveys saw employment growth over the past year, according to new statistics. But natural resources and mining lost 100 jobs in the period. The biggest gains in the state came in trade, transportation and utilities (12,800 jobs); education and health services (8,300 jobs); and professional and business services (7,900) jobs. By percentage, the fastest employment growth occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (4.6 percent); financial activities (4.4 percent); and manufacturing (4.2 percent).