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.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address duri...
Simone Seikaly

Utah delegation’s reaction to Biden’s State of the Union Address

Utah leaders found a little to like about President Biden's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
9 hours ago
university of utah hospital...
Amie Schaeffer

West Valley police searching for suspect in apartment stabbing

Police said a man broke into a home inside the Redwood Apartments and stabbed a victim multiple times. The suspect is still at large.
9 hours ago
Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover debris from a high-altitude surveil...
Katie Bo Lillis, Jeremy Herb, Josh Campbell, Zachary Cohen, Kylie Atwood and Natasha Bertrand, CNN

US intel source: balloon part of broader Chinese military surveillance

The Chinese spy balloon, that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina over the weekend, was part of a Chinese military surveillance program, according to American officials.
9 hours ago
A selfie taken by Gabby Petito weeks before her death shows she had facial injuries on the day she ...
Andi Babineau and Paradise Afshar, CNN

New photo of Gabby Petito raises questions

Facial injuries are shown on the face of Gabby Petito in a selfie she took weeks before her death.
9 hours ago
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, pictured here in Orlando in November of 2022, will deliver th...
Clare Foran, CNN

Sarah Huckabee Sanders draws generational contrast with Biden in GOP rebuttal

 (CNN) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave a combative speech Tuesday evening in response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, seeking to draw a generational contrast with Biden as she delivered a series of blistering criticisms of the president. “At 40, I’m the youngest governor in the country. At 80, he’s […]
9 hours ago
Utah's deregulating the workforce is something the rest of the nation could learn from. It's a topi...
Mark Jones

What America could learn from Utah’s deregulating workforce

SALT LAKE CITY — A tight labor market continues to hurt the rest of the nation. Utah, on the other hand, is deregulating its workforce by making some key changes to help build its economy and fill job openings. It’s something the rest of America could learn from.  This is accomplished by loosening the guidelines […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Community advocates say slowing job growth made worse by high inflation