Piute County's unemployment rate of 14.4 percent - the highest in the state - leads to an unusually high variance in the six-county employment picture in south-central Utah.

At the low end of the district's unemployment rate is Juab County with 4.2 percent unemployment.The central district - comprised of Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Piute, Millard and Juab counties - averaged 5.9 percent unemployment in January. That was 1.5 percent higher than the state average, the latest month for which figures are available from Job Service.

Piute County has the smallest population among counties in south-central Utah, employing only 180 people, so the high unemployment rate did not have as great effect on the district's average as would have been the case had it occurred in one of the larger counties.

Piute County's unemployment rate showed a substantial rise of 5.6 percent during the early winter months, up from November's reading of 8.8 percent.

In between the high and the low in the district, Wayne County recorded an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent, Sanpete 7.8 percent, Sevier 4.8 percent and Millard 4.4 percent.

Non-agricultural jobs employed 14,590 in the six counties. Sevier County had the highest number employed with 4,840. Sanpete County followed with 3,960; Millard, 3,440; Juab, 1,720; Wayne, 450; and Piute, 180.

Government salaries account for a high percentage of the wage income in the six-county area.

For example, 28 percent of those employed in Sevier County worked for city, county, state or federal governments. Of the total payroll of $20,892,205, government workers received $5,870,106.

The next highest source of salaried employment was in the trades with a $3,339,768 payroll. Following were transportation, communications and utilities.