Utah’s unemployment rate stays at a rock-bottom 2%

Sep 16, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: 7:18 pm

SANDY, Utah  – The Beehive State’s economy added nearly 55,000 jobs in the last year as the unemployment rate held steady at just 2%, according to the August report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

“This month’s economic data continues to hold strong in the face of national dialogue about inflation and other economic hurdles,” said a prepared remark from Mark Knold, the department’s chief economist.

Knold also noted that this is the fourth consecutive month that Utah’s unemployment rate has stayed at 2%. The national unemployment rate for August ticked up slightly to 3.7%.

“Both the national and Utah jobs data are robust and show that hiring remains strong,” Knold’s statement went on to say. “The national unemployment rate moved up a little, but when said rates are as low as they currently are, small upward movements are not viewed as a concern.”

In an interview with KSL-TV, Knold said that there is nothing in the jobs report to signal a weakening in the state’s economy. He said there have not been any increases in unemployment claims.

“They’re not showing any signal whatsoever that there’s any kind of initial layoffs or anything going on in the economy,” Knold said.

Knold also said that Utah’s year-over-year job growth of 3.4% is above the long-term average and that the number of people participating in the labor force is getting very close to pre-pandemic levels.

Josh Wittwer manages the Abbey Inn in St. George and said trying to find enough employees last year was very difficult but that it’s been different this summer.

“Things are much better now,” Wittwer said. “I’ve seen a big shift even in the last three to four months of the hiring pool being much better.”

He said he’s seeing more people ready to come back to work and also a larger commitment from them. It’s a big change from 2021 when he was constantly looking to hire five to 10 employees.

“Believe it or not, we’re actually not hiring for any positions right now at this hotel,” Wittwer said.

Knold said Utah’s economy still wants more workers and could be performing at an even higher level if the unemployment rate wasn’t so low.

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Utah’s unemployment rate stays at a rock-bottom 2%