ALL NEWS

Community advocates say slowing job growth made worse by high inflation

May 7, 2021, 8:05 PM | Updated: 8:08 pm

utah labor shortage...

FILE: Image of the Utah Department of Workforce Services building in Salt Lake City, pictured on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Photo credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – Inflation made the slowing job growth worse according to community advocates. Economic analysts say they were surprised to see such a disappointing jobs report, with far fewer new jobs than were expected, nationwide.  Locally, Utah’s job picture still looks relatively steady, but advocates say inflation is becoming a bigger problem. 

According to ABC News, analysts expected to see roughly a million new jobs being added across the country in the month of April.  So, it was extremely disappointing to see only 266 thousand were actually added.  Economists in Utah say the slowdown in job growth might be partly due to employers having a hard time finding enough people to fill their jobs. 

Currently, Utah’s unemployment rate is very low compared to the rest of the country.  Department of Workforce Services Spokesman Jared Mendenhall says we’re sitting at 2.9% unemployment, and far fewer people are making unemployment insurance claims.  Last year, over 100 thousand people filed for unemployment.

“The numbers today are under 30 thousand,” he says.

Mendenhall says Utah was in a good economic situation before the pandemic, which led to the state being in a good position during the pandemic’s last months. 

“In the month of March, we actually saw job growth in Utah.  We were one of the few states that had more jobs, year over year,” he says.

However, Mendenhall says that doesn’t mean the economy hasn’t been “battered and bruised” by COVID-19.  He acknowledges many people need help with the rising cost of housing across the state.  He encourages people going through housing insecurity to apply for rent relief through the state’s website.

These rising rent prices are reportedly causing more people to visit food banks and pantries along the Wasatch Front.  Crossroads Urban Center Executive Director Glen Bailey says rent isn’t the only problem their clients are facing.

Bailey says, “What we have seen is a pretty steady increase in people who are having a hard time paying their utilities, which is another part of housing costs.”

The center still gets money and food from its donors, however, they sometimes have to purchase food to keep up with the demand.  Bailey says that’s becoming harder to do since the cost of groceries is also on the rise.

“When we have to buy food, our dollars won’t go as far,” he says.

Bailey believes additional stimulus payments, enhanced SNAP benefits for food stamps and tax credits for dependents will be helpful for people in need.  However, he says people will still be under intense pressure when those funds run out since the rent will still be too high.

 

Other Reading:

US jobless claims plunge to 576,000, lowest since pandemic

US jobless claims fall to 547,000, another pandemic low

What is Dogecoin? How a joke became hotter than bitcoin

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

ioc delegation at park city mountain during the salt lake ioc visit...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The unspoken reason why the IOC is touring Utah

The IOC members could have stayed home and watched videos of the venues. They needed a closer look for a reason summed up best in one word. Sarajevo. 

6 hours ago

An American Fork third-grade teacher is well-known for transforming his classroom into his own vers...

Eric Cabrera

American Fork third-grade teacher transforms classroom into Hogwarts

An American Fork third-grade teacher is well-known for transforming his classroom into his own version of Harry Potter's Hogwarts.

7 hours ago

A Cedar City police logo is pictured in Cedar City on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Cedar City Polic...

Devin Oldroyd

VIDEO: Four wheeler swerves into traffic in Cedar City

The Cedar City Police Department is investigating after a four-wheeler lost control and swerved into oncoming traffic.

8 hours ago

bald eagle...

Curt Gresseth

Who shot, killed bald eagle near Cedar City? $10,000 reward available

A $10,000 reward is available for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrator who shot and killed a protected bald eagle near Cedar City.

9 hours ago

gabby petito shown, her death inspired a law meant to prevent other domestic violence deaths...

Heather Peterson

“Gabby Petito Act” signed into law in Florida

The "Gabby Petito Act" is similar to a law adopted in Utah last year.

10 hours ago

golden bachelor Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist...

Marianne Garvey, CNN

‘Golden Bachelor’ turns into golden divorce

Just three months after marrying in a live televised ceremony, the "Golden Bachelor" couple announced their plans to divorce on “Good Morning America” Friday.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Community advocates say slowing job growth made worse by high inflation