Utah flips from ‘COVID-induced job losses back to economic expansion’

Local News

In this photo illustration, a person files an application for unemployment benefits on April 16, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for December 2020 grew by an estimated 0.6% across the past 12 months, with 9,900 more jobs since December 2019, according to the latest report from Utah’s Department of Workforce Services.

Utah’s November year-over job changes remains unrevised at -0.2% while the state’s current employment level stands at 1,606,000.

December’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 3.6%, with about 60,100 Utahns unemployed, officials say. The December national unemployment rate of 6.7% is unchanged from November.

“In December, Utah became the second state economy to flip from COVID-induced job losses back to economic expansion,” reports Mark Knold, Chief Economist at the Department of Workforce Services. “Entering the economic downturn with balanced economic fundamentals was the key for Utah to have absorbed significant job losses and in nine months reversed them. There is room for additional improvement, but the stage is set for an optimistic 2021.”

Utah’s December private sector employment recorded a noticeable year-over expansion of 1.1% – the first job expansion since March 2020.

Seven of the state’s 10 private-sector major industry groups posted net year-over job gains. These are led by Trade, Transportation and Utilities (14,000 jobs); Construction (6,900 jobs); Financial Activities (6,100 jobs); and Manufacturing (4,600 jobs). Three industry groups remain with year-over employment declines, including Leisure and Hospitality Services (-20,900 jobs); Information (-2,400 jobs); and Mining (-1,200 jobs).

County unemployment rates for December will be posted later this month.

January’s employment information will be released in early March.

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