Unemployment rose to 5.4 percent in July, an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The jobless rate in June - 5.3 percent - was the lowest in 14 years but analysts had said in advance that they expected the unemployment rate to rise slightly in July. Many economists said the low June figure reflected the timing of the survey and the entrance of students into the summer work force.Despite the rise in the jobless rate, other data in the latest unemployment report showed many facets of America's economy remained strong.
Although unemployment in Utah during July was 5 percent, which is two-tenths of a point higher than the revised June rate, Utah Department of Employment Security officials don't consider the increase significant. But they noted that July is the first month this year the unemployment rate hasn't decreased.
Also, it is only the second time in 14 months that unemployment has increased in Utah and only time will tell if the unemployment rate decline has ended.
Concurrently, department officials said, the pattern of the past several months in Utah's non-agricultural jobs growth continued in July with a gain of about 10,000 jobs from a year ago. The increase is primarily due to more jobs in services and manufacturing.