SALT LAKE CITY — More Utahns are entering the workforce and getting jobs, a new report stated.
The monthly report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services showed that April’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady from March at 3.1 percent, with about 49,200 Utahns identified as unemployed during the month and actively seeking work. Nationally, the jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point from March to 4.4 percent.
The state’s nonfarm payroll employment for April 2017 grew by an estimated 3.3 percent, adding 46,700 jobs to the economy since April 2016. Utah’s current employment level registers at 1,468,700.
“Utah’s labor market continues to grow at a healthy pace,” said DWS chief economist Carrie Mayne. “New entrants to the state’s labor force continue to be hired by employers who are adding jobs and expanding their economic footprint.”
She noted that while the unemployment rate has remained flat, the number of people looking for work is rising.
"The fact that the unemployment rate held steady tells us that those people entering the workforce are getting jobs, and employers are creating new jobs for those people to fill," Mayne explained.
The report showed eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the survey posted net job increases in April compared to last year. Natural resources and mining lost 800 positions during the period, while the information sector shed 300 positions. The largest private sector employment jumps were in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 10,700 jobs; professional and business services, which gained 9,200 positions; and education and health services, which added 7,500 jobs.
The fastest employment growth occurred in professional and business services — 4.6 percent; leisure and hospitality services — up 4.2 percent; and trade, transportation and utilities — up 4 percent.
"When you break it down state by state, last month Utah ranked first in total job growth and private sector job growth," Mayne said. "We know that we're one of the strongest economies in the nation."
With a relatively low jobless rate, the Beehive State is doing very well in both employing people and growing businesses, she added.
"When we look at all these numbers, we can see that Utah is on a strong and steady path, and we have no reason to think that it will divert in the coming months," Mayne said. "We expect to see a strong economy throughout Utah's summer."