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Utah's jobless rate remains low at 3.5 percent

Published: Friday, Jan. 22 2016 5:00 p.m. MST

Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for December 2015 grew by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 43,300 jobs to the economy compared with December 2014.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for December 2015 grew by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 43,300 jobs to the economy compared with December 2014.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month was unchanged to register at 3.5 percent. The national unemployment rate also held steady at 5 percent.

Approximately 50,700 Utahns were unemployed during the month and actively seeking work, while the state’s current employment level registered at nearly 1.41 million workers.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported that eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job increases in December compared with last year, while natural resources and mining shed 1,100 positions, and other services lost 1,500 positions.

The largest private sector employment increases were in education and health services — which added 11,300 jobs — with leisure and hospitality bringing on new 8,700 workers, and manufacturing adding 4,900 jobs.

The fastest employment growth occurred in information, up 8.3 percent; leisure and hospitality, up 6.6 percent; and education and health services, up 6.3 percent.

“Our state continues to post above-average job growth despite a moderating trend in the latter months of 2015,” said DWS chief economist Carrie Mayne. “December 2014's winter was mild, allowing sectors like construction to continue growing.”

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