BUSINESS + ECONOMY

December jobs numbers wrap up ‘strong economic year’ in Utah

Jan 20, 2023, 7:42 AM | Updated: 8:13 am
Utah's monthly unemployment report for December was released Friday morning, and according to the D...
FILE: Utah's unemployment rate continues to sit lower than national than the national average. (Nam Y. Huh, AP)
(Nam Y. Huh, AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s monthly unemployment report for December was released Friday morning, and according to the Department of Workforce Services the unemployment rate held steady and job growth slowed in the last month of 2022.

In Utah, seasonally adjusted unemployment remains at 2.2%, and nearly 39,000 Utahns are unemployed. Nationally, the December unemployment rate lowered to 3.5%.

Department of Workforce Services Deputy Director Nate McDonald told Utah’s Morning News that the numbers are a reflection of a strong economic year in Utah.

“The fact that we ended at 2.2 unemployment rate, this speaks volumes for the year, that 2022 will go down as a very strong economic year for the state of Utah,” he said.

 

For most of the year in Utah, job growth was above average. But seeing a slowdown in December wasn’t unexpected.

“That is what we’ve been saying … we’re starting to see that slowing. Last month we saw it drop from 3% job growth to 2.6. And then we saw it dropped a little bit more,” McDonald said.

Job losses were experienced in two of the ten industry sectors monitored by the Utah officials.  According to McDonald, Utah’s tech sector is mirroring what’s happening across the country, and that’s exemplified in job losses in the professional business sector and Utah’s financial activities sector.

“So we are seeing job losses in those areas … that’s where we’re seeing slowing occur,” McDonald said.

Two events in January bode well for the next set of numbers that McDonald’s department will release. They are the Outdoor Retailers Show and the Sundance Film Festival.

“A lot of seasonal jobs happen during the winter months, we see that our lodging, and hospitality numbers are still strong … this last year, we’ve seen positive job gains there.”

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