Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Brian Janroy, right, of Borsight, Inc. speaks with Bruce Reutner of Salt Lake City at the "Hiring Our Heroes" Job Fair at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah’s payroll employment for March grew by an estimated 4 percent compared to March 2012 — adding 48,700 jobs to the economy.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported that the state’s current employment level is at 1,277,900.

The March seasonally adjusted unemployment rate measured 4.9 percent, up 0.3 percent from February. Approximately 67,900 people were unemployed and actively seeking work, DWS reported.

The national unemployment rate for March was 7.6 percent.

The Utah economy has experienced yet another month of job growth that is well above the state’s long-run average, DWS chief economist Carrie Mayne said.

"The labor market is improving and is on a solid path toward full employment," said Mayne. "Unlike the national trend, Utah’s labor force participation is growing. The labor force participation rate, which measures the share of non-institutionalized civilian population who are employed or actively seeking work, registered an increase of roughly two-tenths of a percentage point in March."

The number of employed individuals has increased by approximately 8,900, she said.

Of the 11 industry groups that DWS tracked, nine posted year-over-year employment gains. The largest gains were in trade, transportation and utilities with 10,800 jobs added, leisure and hospitality adding 9,200 jobs and professional, with 7,800 new jobs in business services.

To the contrary, the natural resources and mining industry lost jobs at a rate of 0.8 percent compared to March of 2012 and the government sector lost approximately 300 jobs over the same period.

— Jasen Lee