NewsLocal News


Utah economy booming as unemployment rate reaches all-time low

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 18:42:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The state of Utah is reporting the lowest unemployment rate in its history.

New numbers posted by the Utah Department of Workforce Services on Friday showed a 2.3% seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in December, the lowest ever recorded. Approximately 37,900 Utahns are out of work and actively seeking employment.

"Utah culminates 2019 with a resilient and convincing employment picture," workforce services chief economist Mark Knold said in a statement Friday. “The economy continues adding to multiple years of robust job creation. This dynamic has carried Utah to its lowest recorded unemployment rate. The job market is humming along at a feverish pace and is absorbing as much labor as possible."

Knold says these numbers are a sign of a good economy.

“The economy has been going very strong. It’s very vibrant," Knold said. "It’s been doing it for a while — it’s absorbing as much labor as is available to come and work in the workforce.”

The national unemployment rate is currently 3.5 percent.

“In this environment now, we’re seeing all of those stratifications of the skill sets, the education levels all coalescing to the lowest unemployment rates, and hardly having much of a spread at all between those with master’s degrees in an unemployment rate in those with less than a high school education and a job,” Knold said.

The private-sector job growth has also risen by more than 3 percent year over year, with the biggest gains being in education, health care, construction and professional services. More than 50,000 jobs were added to the economy.

“We’re estimating 20,000 to 30,000 people for the last few years coming in each year from out of state to find work, and so that helps to augment the amount of labor that’s available to the economy and can keep this job growth going at 3.3%,” said Knold.

While this is good news for job seekers, it can make it difficult for businesses to find the right candidate.

And Knold says even though more jobs are available, you still have to put in the work to land one.

“You still have to make yourself presentable, you still have to sell yourself," Knold said. "You still have to convince the employer that if they hire you, you will make money for them, that you are something that will help them grow their business, will be attractive for their business and so on."

Knold says this upward trend with the economy is something that will continue through 2020.