Utah’s job growth ‘holding steady,’ wages rising
Jul 21, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 9:02 am
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s job growth is holding steady, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services June’s job report, released Friday morning.
Job growth in Utah has increased about 3.2% within the past year, adding 54,200 jobs since June 2022. The unemployment rate this month sits at 2.4%, just a slight increase from last month’s 2.3%. The national unemployment rate moved down one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.6%.
The Utah labor force always sees a spurt of growth in May and June. This year was no exception with Utah’s workforce growing by 3.2% since 06/22. This resulted in 54,200 new jobs. The unemployment remained low at 2.4%.#utecon #UtPol #utbiz pic.twitter.com/JewVkk2Lcb
— Workforce Services (@JobsUT) July 21, 2023
Department of Workforce Services Deputy Director Nate McDonald told KSL that among all of the industries that they measure, only financial activities saw a decrease in jobs since last June. Leisure and hospitality services are leading the growth with 17,000 jobs in the past year.
Good news for workers
McDonald also had some good news for new workers.
“Wages are going up,” he said. “Our year-over-wage growth is at 6.3%”
McDonald said it’s still a little bit behind inflation growth at 6.6%, but the fact that we’re seeing wages grow at almost the same rate as inflation is a good sign.
He said competition within the labor force is driving those wages up.
“We’ve got jobs, good paying jobs, and people need to get back in because of inflation.”
McDonald said the real story behind this month’s job report is the labor force participation.
“We’re seeing the labor force participation continue to climb and climb.”
He said that you can’t have 100% labor force participation because you have people who retire, students and caretakers. However, participation has surpassed expectations.
“They were seeing about a year and a half ago that the maximum labor force participation would be at about 68.5%, but we’re above that right now.”
McDonald said we’re seeing labor force participation rates at 69.6%, the most we’ve seen since the Great Recession.