Utah jobs report even more optimistic than U.S. rate

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 15:14:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY — According to President Joe Biden, the latest employment numbers released Friday show that America‘s economy is on the move again.

But Biden is cautioning everyone by adding that you can’t reboot the world's largest economy just like flipping a light switch on and off, it’s gonna take some time.

Utah's jobs numbers appear even more optimistic that's what’s going on nationally. More than 1.5 million in the state are currently employed, while our unemployment rate is below 3%.

“I think we can look at the Utah economic outlook as very optimistic!,” says Lyndsey Stram, regional economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

The national unemployment rate is now 5.8% and appears to be improving. And even though there are people throughout the country, and even here in Utah, that are still hurting, economists say things continue to look good for the Beehive State.

“We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States, we have very high job growth numbers actually, compared to much of the country who is still suffering from job losses," said Stram. "We have a very diverse economy here that is allowing us to really build on those strengths that we have, while offsetting some of those weaker areas that are still struggling very hard from COVID.”

In a trend that began even before the pandemic, Utah small business owners appear to be having the most difficult time filling positions. For the fourth consecutive month, small business owners state wide are reporting a record number of unfilled positions.

“And much of the state, that’s what we are returning to again, to this labor supply shortage. We don’t have enough workers willing to step in and take the jobs so, of course, not to minimize anyone who is struggling, there are lots of opportunities to be had here in Utah,” added Stram.

Candace Daly of the National Federation of Independent Business says one thing Utah did to help the state is Gov. Spencer Cox deciding to opt out of a federal program that added $300 a week on top of the state’s unemployment benefits.”

Daly believes removing that extra money will motivate more people to apply for jobs, especially at small businesses.