Utah's labor and unemployment numbers explained

CVS looking to hire thousands of pharmacists, nurses, techs to administer COVID vaccines
Posted at 10:44 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 00:44:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s unemployment is tied for the lowest in the nation at 2.9 percent.

Nebraska, South Dakota and Vermont are the only other states with a rate as low.

READ: Data shows positive trend for Utah's economy as state continues to recover from pandemic

But that number does not paint a perfect picture.

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, compared to this time last year, Utah’s rate of job growth is less than one percent.

That indicates job growth is not keeping up with the increase of people in the labor market and could artificially deflate Utah’s unemployment numbers.

“With largely no job growth over the past 12 months, Utah’s typical yearly net labor growth of about 25,000 people could not find a job,” said Mark Knold, chief economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “This will cause people to step away from the labor force until things improve and job creation catches up to them. While they are no longer looking for a job, they are no longer counted in the unemployment rate.”

Knold estimates the job market will pick up speed in the spring and summer months.

WATCH: Low unemployment leading to high job vacancy in restaurants across Utah