Utah’s job growth gets a boost in May, unemployment remains low

Jun 16, 2023, 8:19 AM | Updated: 8:42 am

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Department of Workforce Services released June's job report Friday morni...

FILE - A "now hiring" sign is posted in Garnet Valley, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Workforce Services released May’s job report Friday morning.

In the last 12 months, Utah saw an increase of 2.9% in its labor force resulting 48,900 new jobs. Utah’s unemployment rate stayed steady at 2.3% where as nationally saw a slight uptick and sits at 3.7%.


Department of Workforce Services Deputy Director Nate McDonald joined KSL’s Utah Morning News to discuss the latest numbers.

“We’re staying steady with a very low unemployment rate. So that is good. But then our job growth, we bucked the trend, we were seeing our job growth slowing since January. And in May we saw those numbers jump up, we went from 2.6 job growth to two to 2.9% job growth. And so looking very good for the month of May.”

McDonald said that leisure and hospitality and education and health services are the two industry sectors that are leading the way. He noted that those sectors were the hardest hit during the pandemic. 

Graduates enter the workforce

McDonald said there is a good reason behind the boost in job numbers for May — graduation. 

“With all the students that have just graduated, because we’re a tight labor market, they’ve been able to come and enter that workforce immediately, which is a really positive thing for the state of Utah,” said McDonald.

“We have those young graduates come in, are able to get right into the workforce. And that’s what we’re seeing right now in the state of Utah.”

Related: Utah’s economy is slowing down, according to April employment report


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Utah’s job growth gets a boost in May, unemployment remains low