SALT LAKE CITY — The number of Utahns looking for work has caused a slight uptick in the state's jobless rate, a new report indicates.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April rose two-tenths of a percent from March to register at 3.7 percent, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Approximately 54,800 Utahns were considered unemployed and actively seeking work last month, the report stated.
The state’s nonfarm payroll employment for April added 46,500 jobs to the economy as compared with April 2015 — up by an estimated 3.4 percent. Utah’s current employment level registered at 1.4 million.
The national jobless rate held steady at 5 percent for the period.
“Strong wage and employment growth is drawing job seekers into Utah’s labor markets,” explained Carrie Mayne, chief economist at the Department of Workforce Services. “The immediate result is an increase in the unemployment rate, but given the rate of business expansion in our state, it is highly likely the unemployed job seekers will become employed members of the workforce.”
Eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the survey posted net job hikes compared with last April, while the natural resources and mining industry lost 1,100 positions, and other services lost 900 jobs.
Meanwhile, the largest private sector employment increases were in education and health services, which added 10,800 jobs; with trade, transportation and utilities adding 9,400 new positions; and leisure and hospitality adding 6,500 jobs. The fastest employment growth occurred in construction, up 6.2 percent; financial activities, 6 percent; and education and health services, 5.9 percent.
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