Jordan Allred, Deseret News
December’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month to 3.1 percent. The national jobless rate remained unchanged for the month at 4.1 percent.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Beehive State remained at its historically low unemployment rate in December as Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for the final month of 2017 grew by an estimated 2.7 percent, adding 38,800 jobs to the economy year over year.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services Friday reported December’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month to register at 3.1 percent. Nationally, the jobless rate held steady at 4.1 percent.

The state’s current employment level registered at 1,497,600. Approximately 49,700 Utahns were unemployed during the month and actively seeking work, the reported states.

“With a full picture of 2017, Utah’s economic performance compared favorably to the rest of the United States,” said the department's chief economist, Carrie Mayne. “Utah’s labor market experienced a solid year of steady, sustainable expansion with job growth averaging 3.1 percent and unemployment at 3.5 percent.”

Private sector employment in Utah grew by 2.8 percent year over year with 33,500 new positions being created, she said.

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Data showed that seven of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job increases in December compared to last year with natural resources and mining industry shedding 500 positions, the information industry losing 100 positions and the financial activities industry remaining unchanged from the same period last year.

The largest private sector employment increases were in leisure and hospitality, which added 8,300 jobs, the construction industry adding 6,300 positions, while education and health services added 6,300 new jobs. The fastest employment growth occurred in construction, up 6.9 percent; leisure and hospitality, up 6 percent; and other services up 3.5 percent.