Utah goes from No. 1 to No. 3 in job creation

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) A job fair hosted by Catholic Community Services at the Weigand Center in Salt Lake City, Aug. 21, 2018. Utah's economy continues to produce jobs, adding more than 45,000 new ones in the September-to-September count.

Utah is no longer No. 1 among the states for creating jobs. But it is No. 3.

The number of jobs in Utah grew by 3% in the 12-month period between September 2018 and September 2019, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That ranked behind only Nevada at 3.2% and Idaho at 3.1%. Utah had ranked No. 1 for the period from July 2018 to July 2019.

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 45,500 jobs in the September-to-September period.

“Utah is moving into the latter months of 2019 on a strong economic footing,” Mark Knold, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said. “The strength of the Utah economy is in the private sector where we’ve seen a healthy and diverse job market over the last five years.”

All 10 of the major industry groups measured in data showed job increases.

The largest private sector employment increases were in education and health services (9,400 jobs); professional and business services (8,400 jobs); and manufacturing (5,500 jobs).

The fastest employment growth occurred in information (4.9%); construction (4.7%); and education and health services (4.5 percent).

Utah’s unemployment rate also dropped slightly in September, from 2.8% to 2.7%, according to the new data.

About 43,366 Utahns were unemployed and actively seeking work during September. The national unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.5%.

Vermont had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate in September at 2.2%. Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.2%.