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New grads helping fill Utah job openings

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 16, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report shows Utah’s job market is thriving.

The state’s unemployment rate has stayed at a low 2.3% (compared to 3.7% nationally), while 48,900 jobs have been added to the economy since May 2022.

Nate McDonald, the deputy director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said college graduates play a large role in these numbers.

“It really means we’ve been able to absorb the new workforce coming in from college graduates,” said McDonald, “And that we had jobs for them. And so that’s a real positive thing.”

Sy Winkleman was at the Salt Lake City Airport Career Fair Friday representing an engineering and consulting company called Terracon.

He said graduates are some of the best workers, eager to get out in the field, and they seek them out in the springtime.

“We do see you know kind of an increase you know in candidates this time of year with college graduation,” said Winkleman.

Kanchan Pokhrel, who just graduated from Utah Valley University, was there looking for a part-time job.

He said it’s important as he’s just getting into the workforce to make connections.

“If I work as a ramp agent right here at United Airlines, then I’m already in there, they know about me... I think it would be a fantastic way to get to know people,” said Pokhrel, “That’s kind of the main reason I’m looking for a part-time job here.”

“Whether from high school graduation or college, young working-age people approach the labor market — some for the first time, some for a more expanded and full-time role. This is the lifeblood for the Utah economy. Its expansion and vibrancy are driven by the large amount of young labor that ages in each year,” the Department of Workforce Services’ chief economist Mark Knold said in the employment summary.