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Utah saw more job creation in June but also more unemployment

Published July 23, 2017 6:08 pm

Unemployment also rose in June, but availability of new jobs increases the chance of finding work.
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Utah's unemployment rate rose at a slightly higher rate in June, but state officials were not overly concerned as that increase ran parallel to solid growth in new job creation.

The jobless rate climbed two-tenths of a percent to 3.4 percent in June, meaning 53,400 Utahns were unemployed last month but actively seeking work, said Carrie Mayne, chief economist at the state Department of Workforce Services.

"While the unemployment rate showed a slight uptick, the expansionary trend in jobs means today's job seeker will likely become tomorrow's job holder," she said Friday in the monthly jobs report.

It showed the state's economy supported 49,200 more jobs than in June 2016, up 3.4 percent. Non-farm employment statewide was about 1,477,700.

"Utah's economy remains on solid footing," Mayne said.

Job increases were spread across eight of 10 private sector industry groups tracked by Workforce Services.

The exceptions were natural resources and mining, where the plunge continued with the loss of 500 jobs year-to-year. Mining was joined by the information services sector, which supported 400 fewer positions than the previous June.

The professional and business services sector posted the largest annual gain, adding 10,700 jobs, a 5.3 percent increase. The construction industry also registered sizable growth, 7,400 new positions representing a 7.9 percent growth rate.

Companies involved in trade, transportation and utilities work employed 10,000 more people than a year ago, a 3.7 percent bump. The manufacturing sector, important for its higher paying jobs, added 3,500 positions over the past year, a 2.8 percent gain.

Growth also was measured in these high-employment sectors:

• Education and health services, up 5,000 jobs, 2.7 percent.

• Leisure and hospitality services, up 4,700 jobs, 3.3 percent.

• Financial activities, up 1,900 jobs, 2.3 percent.

There were 5,300 (2.2 percent) more government-sector positions in June than a year earlier, with the biggest increases among local officials.

mikeg@sltrib.com —

Unemployment rates falling across the U.S.

Washington • Hiring rose last month in 14 U.S. states in June, and the unemployment rate fell to record lows in two states, evidence that the job market is getting tighter across much of the country.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates fell in 10 states and rose in only 2. Rates were stable in the other 38 states.

After five years of steady hiring, unemployment rates have fallen below 4 percent in 23 states. Unemployment that low suggests that those states are at "full employment," when nearly everyone who wants a job has one and the unemployment rate reflects the normal churn of hiring and firing.

The rate has fallen below 3 percent in five states: Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire and North Dakota.

When unemployment falls that low, businesses may be forced to raise pay to compete for scarce workers. So far, wage gains nationwide remain at about 2.5 percent a year, below the 3.5 percent pace normally associated with a healthy economy.






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