COVID-19-MONEY-SECURITY

Utah unemployment rate among lowest in the nation

Apr 17, 2021, 1:41 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2021, 12:04 am

SALT LAKE CITY — News of the Utah unemployment rate sounds good, even great when you first hear it, because the rate is one of the lowest in the nation right now. But KSL TV reporter Ladd Eagan reports the numbers may be misleading.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services said the Utah unemployment rate now rests at 2.9%, a percentage shared by Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermont. The national unemployment rate is 6%.

Even so, an unemployment rate that is more than twice as low as the national average isn’t how it seems on the surface.

“This 2.9% unemployment rate is not the kind of 2.9% we saw before COVID,” Utah Department of Workforce Services Chief Economist Mark Knold told KSL TV reporter Ladd Eagan. “It’s somewhat of a misleading unemployment rate

“You would think that if you are at 2.9% you would call that full employment, which is largely saying that anybody that wants a job could find a job.”

That’s not happening, Knold said. So the 2.9% rate his agency reported may also indicate that people have simply stopped looking for work.

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Utah unemployment rate among lowest in the nation