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Utah’s June unemployment rate falls by 3.5% from May

Jul 17, 2020, 7:18 AM | Updated: 11:58 am
June unemployment Utah...
FILE - In this July 8, 2020, file photo, a "Now Hiring" sign sits outside a Ross Dress for Less store, in North Miami Beach, Fla. Unemployment remains painfully high in the U.S. even as economic activity is slowly picking up. That reality will be on display Thursday, July 16, 2020, when the U.S. government releases data on the number of laid off workers seeking unemployment benefits the week prior and retail sales in June. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Workforce Services reports that the state’s unemployment rate is 5.1% for June, down from 8.6% in May.

The DWS says that 5.1% equates to approximately 85,700 Utahns who sought unemployment help during June.

June unemployment improves over May in Utah

“June’s employment assessment continues building upon May’s improvement,” DWS Chief Economist Mark Knold said.

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“Businesses continue to bring back furloughed workers. Across the past two months, just under half of the COVID-idled workers have been returned to work. These gains, in turn, have cut the unemployment rate in half in two months.”

Rehiring could slow down in near future

“But,” Knold continued, “they expect rehiring to slow down over the next few months.” 

This is due, in part, to local and state governments slowing or reversing reopening plans.  And the economy is expected to move along at various paces.

More rural parts of the state could bounce back faster than larger cities, Knold said. 

“Especially downtown Salt Lake,” said Knold, “where many office workers continue their jobs remotely.”

This means local traffic isn’t heading to restaurants during lunch breaks each day.  And with no convention visitors, many of those employed at arenas, art venues and bars either aren’t returning to work or have reduced hours.

Industries with job growth

The agency also reported that only three of the 10 private-sector industries they tracked showed a net increase in job growth in June.

Those industries were construction (9,700 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities (1,400 jobs) and financial activities (600 jobs).

Leisure and hospitality services (-32,400 jobs), professional and business services (-8,400 jobs) and manufacturing jobs (-1,900) were the most negatively impacted industries in June.

“Overall, how well our economy bounces back is due to two things — government policies on whether they re-open or re-close, and if consumers begin spending again once they are back to work,” Knold said. 

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