Utah County ranks No. 6 nationally for employment growth over past year

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) UDOT completes the first stage of the new Triumph Blvd bridge in Lehi, opening East to West traffic on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, as part of the I-15 Technology Corridor Project.

Utah County is among the nation’s leaders for creating new jobs over the past year — ranking No. 6 among the country’s 349 largest counties, according to federal data released Wednesday.

The number of jobs there, where Silicon Slopes is fueling more high-tech jobs, jumped by 4.8 percent between June 2017 and June 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That was more than three times more than the national average job growth of 1.5 percent.

The top large county in the nation for employment growth was Midland County, Texas — an oil production area — at 11.6 percent. McLean County, Ill., fared the worst among large counties, suffering a 2 percent reduction in jobs.

Among other large counties in Utah, the number of jobs increased by 3.1 percent over the year period in Salt Lake County (ranking No. 34 nationally); Weber County saw an increase of 2.6 percent (ranking No. 55); and Davis County had a 2.2 percent increase (ranking No. 76).

While the number of jobs is growing quickly in Utah County, wages are still relatively low there — but are increasing at a fast clip.

The average weekly wage there during the second quarter this year was $871 (or $45,292 a year) — about 17 percent lower than the national average weekly wage of $1,055 (or $54,860 a year).

However, the weekly wage in Utah County had increased by 5.7 percent during the year, ranking 17th fastest-growing among the nation’s large counties — and much faster than the 3.4 percent average increase nationally.

Average weekly wages in Utah’s other large counties were: Salt Lake County, $1,010 ($52,520 a year, up 4.4 percent); Davis County, $871 ($45,292 a year, up 3.1 percent); and Weber County, $791 ($41,132, up 3.8 percent).