For job seekers, report says Utah offers among the best chances in the nation

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file) Crews lay down cement on a double T steel beam bridge structure at Forterra Structural Precast in Kearns on Dec. 11, 2018. The manufacturing industry helped lead the way as Utah ranks No. 2 in job creation over the past year.

Need a job? Utah continues to be one of the best places in the nation to find one, according to new federal statistics released Friday.

Utah’s unemployment rate is eighth lowest among the states. And the Beehive State ranks No. 2 for the number of jobs it added in the year between May 2018 and May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Job seeker opportunities remain robust as we continue to experience strong job growth and markedly low unemployment,” said Mark Knold, senior economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

“While job growth did abate a bit in May, it does not reflect an underlying softening in market demand,” he added.

Utah’s unemployment rate in May was 2.9%, about a fifth lower than the national rate of 3.6%. The lowest rate in the nation was 2.1% in Vermont. Alaska had the highest at 6.1%.

About 44,200 Utahns were unemployed and actively seeking a job last month, roughly the same size as the population of Herriman.

Meanwhile, Utah saw a 2.8% increase in the number of nonfarm jobs during the past year, tied with Washington for No. 2 among the states for job growth. Nevada was No. 1 with 4% growth.

Utah added a net 42,600 jobs in that time, according to federal estimates.

The fastest job growth rates among Utah’s counties over the past year were: 7% in Wasatch; 5.1% in Washington; and 4.9% in Summit.

Four counties saw a decrease in jobs during the year: Wayne, down 1.9%; Millard, down 1.0%; Garfield, down 0.6%; and Beaver, down 0.1%. Also, Piute showed no change in its number of jobs.

Along the Wasatch Front, the rates job increases were: 4.7% in Utah County; 3.0% in Davis; 2.7% in Salt Lake County; and 2.1% in Weber.

All major industry sectors in Utah that are measured in federal research added jobs during the past year.

The fastest growing were the manufacturing and information industries, which both grew by 4.7%. Behind them was education and health sciences at 3.8%; leisure and hospitality, 3.7%; and natural resources and mining, 3.2%.

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