Nicole Boliaux, Deseret News
FILE - Karl Moody works on a composite in the linear room at the Orbital ATK manufacturing facility in Clearfield on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — The state added nearly 4,000 new jobs per month over the last 12-month period, new data shows.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported Friday that Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for December 2018 grew by an estimated 3.1 percent, adding 47,200 jobs to the economy since December 2017.

Aaron Thorup, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic

For the month, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged from the prior month to register at 3.2 percent. Utah’s current employment level registers at 1,542,600, while approximately 49,900 Utahns were unemployed during the month and actively seeking work.

Nationally, the U.S. jobless rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from last month to register at 3.9 percent.

The report stated that Utah’s private sector employment grew by 3.3 percent for the 12-month period, adding 41,500 new positions. Nine of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job increases in December, with natural resources and mining as the one exception as it remained unchanged from the prior year.

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The largest private sector employment increases were in trade, transportation and utilities, creating 15,000 jobs; education and health services adding 5,900 jobs; and professional and business services, 5,400 new positions. The fastest employment growth by percent occurred in trade, transportation and utilities, climbing 5.2 percent; other services rising 4.3 percent; and manufacturing up 3.4 percent.

"2018 ended with an average annual job growth rate of roughly 3.1 percent, which is in line with our long-run average. It's slower than 2017, but still a healthy pace for our labor market to grow," said DWS chief economist Carrie Mayne. "In 2019, we may see some slowdown in job creation, mainly because employers will struggle to find people to fill their positions. In other words, the tight labor market will actually cause job growth to slow a little bit."