Jobs, new construction make Utah the new place to be

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) – Everyone in Utah knows our economy is booming.

Forbes Magazine says Salt Lake is the new “Gold Standard” for cities.

New numbers show unemployment in most Utah counties at 4.5% or lower.

With the demand for housing so high, there are more construction jobs than employers can fill.

“We have had a strong winter for construction growth. It has been very interesting,” says chief Economist of Workforce Services Carrie Mayne.

9,000 construction jobs were added to Utah’s economy in February. But the construction jobs in need are those who are experts in the trades.

“Specialized areas where its difficult because you can’t just get someone who popped right into that job. They have to have that training and experience,” says Mayne.

February unemployment numbers show Utah at 3.4%, well under the United States Average of 5.1%.

Workforce Services says this year could be even stronger than the last.

“When you have a low unemployment rate, you sometimes worry that their might be a labor shortage and you won’t be able to add jobs,” says Mayne. “But we continue to add jobs along with that low unemployment rate.”

It’s great news for University of Utah student Marli Huges. She applied to the U’s new 400 Best Student Entrepreneurs program.

“I think there is a lot of room for opportunity here, especially in Salt Lake City because it is a very accessible city and bigger cities such as L.A. And New York, there is so much going on. There is not a lot of intimacy,” says Hughes.

More and more people like her are moving or staying in Salt Lake City and they’re not necessarily looking to buy a home.

“When those households want to acquire property, apartment living is becoming an alternative that’s weighed just as well as owning homes,” says Mayne.

Mitchell Howl also goes to the U. He’s already getting job offers to stay. Combine that with the quality of life here Howl says he could see himself in the Beehive State forever.

“I got family here, I got friends here, I do lots of outdoor activities, biking, mountain biking. It’s got that here,” says Howl.

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