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Utah's job-growth rate in August nearly doubled the national average while its jobless rate dropped two-tenths from July to 3.7 percent, the state Department of Workforce Services said Friday.

Companies and government agencies had 44,800 more employees on their payrolls last month than in August 2015, a 3.3 percent growth rate. Employment nationally grew by 1.7 percent last month, while the country's jobless rate is at 4.9 percent, the department said in its monthly report.

"The Utah job market continues to grow at an optimal pace," said Carrie Mayne, its chief economist. "Unemployment numbers show a pattern of job seekers entering the workforce and finding employment."

Even with a 0.2 percent decline in unemployment, 54,800 Utahns are still jobless but actively seeking work.

Eight of 10 private-industry sectors reflected year-over-year job growth, Mayne noted.

A 900 job loss in the natural resources and mining sector reflected the impact of the oil glut and the coal industry's woes on employment in the Uinta Basin and Sevier/Carbon/Emery counties.

Otherwise, jobs were plentiful. The financial activities sector posted the best annual gain — 8.3 percent — adding 6,600 jobs over the past year.

The largest job increases in terms of numbers were shared by two broad sectors — trade, transportation and utilities being one, education and health services being the other — at 8,600 apiece.

The leisure and hospitality sector added 6,000 jobs (4.3 percent), construction grew by 5,300 positions (6.0 percent) and manufacturing created 4,200 new jobs (3.4 percent).

The government sector added 1,000 jobs, a 1.2 percent year-over-year gain, Mayne said, adding that the information sector was flat.

Mike Gorrell