State’s unemployment rate continues to fall

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.9 percent according to January data reported Friday by the Utah Department of Workforce Services. According to a statement from the governor’s office, it is the lowest unemployment rate recorded in the last five years.

“This is terrific news,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in the statement. “For the first time since the start of the Great Recession in Utah, our unemployment rate has fallen below 4 percent. It has been cut by more than half since I took office. This attests to the fact that our economy is strong and getting stronger.”

Utah continues to be below the national average for unemployment which is currently 6.6 percent. Utah ended 2013 with a 4.1 percent employment rate, which continues to fall according to the data.

“This is especially encouraging because much of the decline in unemployment is due to Utahns getting jobs, rather than dropping out and abandoning the search,” Herbert said.

The governor added that the state’s labor force has grown by 6 percent, representing nearly 80,000 people, in the past five years. An estimated 34,700 jobs have been added in the last 12 months, representing a 2.8 percent increase.

There have been employment gains across the board for 9-out-of-10 of the state’s private sector industries. Washington County’s employment gains reflect this trend, with losses reported in the manufacturing sector over the previous year.


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