Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 30,2009, Nick Ayrom, from Glendale, Calif., a former high school teacher, looks for technology related jobs on a computer terminal at the Verdugo Job Center on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. in Glendale, Calif. The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly last week, a sign the job market is healing as the economy slowly recovers.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Starting salaries for technology, administrative and finance professionals are expected to increase by as much as 5.3 percent in Utah next year, according to a report from recruitment and staffing firm Robert Half.

Income growth for those three sectors matches the national trend, according to a 2013 Salary Guide published by Robert Half.

“Starting salaries are increasing due to increased efficiencies and improved services and profitability,” Rick Westbrook, branch manager of the Robert Half Salt Lake office, said in a phone interview. “Companies are looking for quality hires, individuals who can bring a lot to the table of their organization.”

Technology professionals can expect a 5.3-percent increase, while administrative and office support will rise 3.5 percent, according to the report. Accounting and finance professionals will see a 3.3-percent increase in 2013.

Companies make hiring decisions based on the Salary Guide. Job seekers reference it for decisions on salary negotiations.

Unemployment in Utah dropped to 5.6 percent in August, down 1.4 percentage points from July, according to a Deseret News article.

Some positions within the technology, administrative or finance professions have unemployment rates far below the state’s jobless rate.

Joblessness for accounting jobs is about 3.5 percent in the state, Westbrook said. Software developer positions are at 2 percent unemployment, he said.

“Technology is clearly performing well,” Westbrook said. “I’ve got positions with less than 1 percent unemployment in technology.”

Personal income in Utah rose last quarter by 1.10 percent to $98.3 billion, following a national trend of slowing growth in the nation, according to a recent Deseret News article.

The nation’s personal income growth rate dropped 0.7 percentage points to 1.01 percent in the second quarter of 2012, according to the report. Growth slowed in 39 states, including Massachusetts, Indiana and California.

Utah's personal income growth fell 0.78 percentage points from 1.88 percent since last year.

Westbrook hasn’t seen that slowing in income growth for tech, finance and administrative jobs.

“Those sectors are holding very true and growing year over year,” Westbrook said. “In our specific areas, nothing is telling us that anything is slowing there.”

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson