ST. GEORGE — Utah saw the highest year-over-year percentage growth in employment in the U.S.
At a growth rate of 2.8 percent from November 2016 to November 2017, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Utah has continued its steady year-over-year employment climb, coming in just under last year’s 3 percent growth rate.
In addition to Utah, 26 other states and the District of Columbia also saw nonfarm payroll increases, while employment in the other 23 states was essentially unchanged over the year, according to the report.
“If you compare labor market performance to other states, we’re one of the strongest in the nation,” Chief Economist Carrie Mayne of the Utah Department of Workforce Services said in a department-issued report published Dec. 22.
In the one-year period between November 2016 to November 2017, Utah added 42,100 jobs to the economy, bringing the state’s total employment to nearly 1.5 million.
In Southern Utah, Washington and Iron counties maintained consistent growth in employment percentages in the same period.
The state’s current unemployment rate of 3.2 percent also falls below the national average of 4.1 percent.
“The year is winding down on an economic high,” Mayne said. “Coupled with a low unemployment rate, Utah will transition to 2018 on a strong labor market trajectory.”
Many private sector industries grew in the one-year period, while the mining industry decreased slightly and the information industry gained no positions.
The largest private sector employment increases were in:
- Leisure and hospitality (9,000 jobs).
- Trade, transportation and utilities (6,500 jobs).
- Professional and business services (6,200 jobs).
- Education and health services (6,200 jobs).
The fastest employment growth occurred in:
- Leisure and hospitality (6.7 percent).
- Construction (5.1 percent).
- Other services (4.9 percent).
The upward trend in employment is projected to continue into the new year.
“Job seekers should see this as an opportunity,” Mayne said. “You can take that next step in your career or you can go for that new job.
“We project that this could be sustained for at least through 2018, but it won’t last forever.”