While Utah sees continuing private sector job growth overall, brick-and-mortar retailers stagnate

ST. GEORGE — Utah’s economy continues to do well according to the release of August’s job numbers on Friday.

While jobs were added across the board for the month, jobs for brick-and-mortar retail establishments did not see an increase.

“A lot of the brick-and-mortar sales are happening online,” Mark Knold, senior economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services said in an audio presentation for August’s employment report.

The rise of e-commerce is counted among the reasons why traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have experienced a gradual decline.

The private sector overall, however, has done well over the last 12 months with the addition of nearly 46,000 jobs during that time, making for a job growth rate of 3% for the state. Utah’s unemployment rate stands at 2.8% for a third month, while the national rate rests at 3.7%

The unemployment rate in Washington and Iron counties, which was recorded in July, stands at 3.3%

The state’s year-over-year job growth is at 3.7%.

“The Utah economy continues functioning as a strong societal support,” Knold said. “Job growth remains as one of the nation’s best, and that growth’s scope is extensive across the industrial spectrum.”

Utah’s private sector employment grew by 3.4% year-over-year with the addition of 43,400 positions. All of the private sector major industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job increases in August.

“The private sector job growth, that is the heart and soul of why the Utah economy is doing so well,” Knold said.

The largest private sector increases over the last year were in professional and business services with 10,200 jobs; education and health services with 10,000 jobs; and manufacturing at 6,300 jobs.

The growth of the manufacturing sector stands out in Utah, Knold said, as it hasn’t moved much on the national level. It’s either holding even or losing jobs in some cases.

The fastest employment growth in Utah occurred in construction at 5.4%; natural resources at 5.2%; and education and health services at 5%.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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