Utah’s Employment Count Almost Equal To February 2020
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in February and the state’s job count is almost the same as before the pandemic began.
“February finds Utah’s employment count at equality with a year ago,” Utah Department of Workforce Services’ chief economist Mark Knold said in a press release. “Idaho is the only other state that can make such a claim. All other states are still struggling to get their economies pointed in the right direction.”
Knold’s statement went on to say that Utah’s private sector is fueling the job rebound, but that the public sector, especially education, is still being hindered by the pandemic.
Utah’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to an estimated 3% in February from January’s 3.1%. The national unemployment rate for February was 6.2%.
Knold said that even though it will still take time to fully recover from the economic toll of the pandemic, Utah is on the right track.
“That just speaks to the power of our uniqueness and the nice situation that we’re in,” he said in an interview with KSL. “Even though the numbers aren’t where we want them to be, if you’re going to compare it to the rest of the nation we’ll take this and we’re leading the pack.”
The Beehive State was well-positioned to weather the storm because the economy was firing on all cylinders before the pandemic began and didn’t have any structural weaknesses, Knold went on to say.
“We still feel like that those underlying good fundamentals before COVID are still in place,” Knold explained. “Just get COVID out of the way and let’s take off again and watch the Utah economy go.”
Utah’s job market still needs to reabsorb those who left the job market but wish to return, and college graduates entering the workforce.
“So it’s a moving target to get caught back up,” Knold said. “But we’ve done this in the past. We’ve seen this before. I’m anticipating that within two years we can probably get back to a full employment.”
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