Utah ranked No. 2 last year for growth in its gross domestic product

(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) File photo of the Silicon Slopes area in Lehi. Professional, scientific and technical services was the fastest growing sector in Utah last year as the state ranked No. 2 in the nation for growth in its gross domestic product.

Utah worked its way to the second-largest increase among the states last year in gross domestic product — the total value of all goods and services produced, according to federal data released Wednesday.

Utah’s GDP increased by 4.3% in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That national growth in GDP was 2.9%.

Utah’s improvement was behind only the state of Washington, where GDP increased by 5.1%. Alaska was the worst performing among the states, where the GDP decreased by 0.3%.

Utah’s growth was the highest in recent years. Its GDP growth was 2.7% in 2017, 3.9% in 2016 and 4.0% in 2015.

Sectors that contributed the most to Utah’s GDP growth during the year were professional, scientific and technical services; information; and retail trade.

In a separate release on Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in March in all major Utah metro areas was significantly lower than the national average of 3.9%.

The unemployment rate statewide in Utah was 3.0%.

The rates in Utah’s metro areas were: 3.0% in Salt Lake City and in Ogden-Clearfield; 2.7% in Provo-Orem; 2.5% in Logan; and 3.2% in St. George.

The lowest unemployment rate among metro areas in March was in Ames, Iowa, at 1.5%. The nation’s highest rate was in El Centro, Calif., at 17.8%.