Utah’s unemployment increases fractionally in August

Sep 15, 2023, 8:41 AM

Utah's unemployment rate in August ticked up every so slightly. Officials are not worried about the...

A hiring sign is displayed outside of a hardware store in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Sunday, July 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

SALT LAKE CITY —Utah gained 41,400 jobs in the last 12 months, bringing the state’s current job count to 1,725,100. That’s according to the latest jobs report from August, which also showed the very slightest of ticks up in unemployment. The state held steady in July.

Department of Workforce Services Deputy Director Nate McDonald joined Utah’s Morning News to breakdown the new numbers.

“Well, our unemployment number just ticked up just ever so slightly, we went from 2.4% to 2.5%,” said McDonald. “The national unemployment number ticked up three-tenths of a percentage point from 3.5 to 3.8. So we’re seeing some, some upward movement there. But nothing to be too concerned about. I mean, 2.5%, unemployment is still really low.”

McDonald added that wages are increasing due to a tight labor market. McDonald also compared this year to last.

“Now we are seeing, you know, some things slow down just a little bit… with job growth dropping to being about 2.5%,” he said. “But really, if you look back over the last year… we were seeing 4% job growth numbers and, and so to be able to sustain [being] hot for so long is really hard to do.”

Job gains and losses, Utah beats nation on unemployment

According to McDonald, leisure and hospitality have seen the biggest gains with education and health as a close second. Additionally, construction has stayed strong.

“Where we saw some droppings with jobs was in trade, transportation, and utilities,” he said. “But again, when you look at that, that was one of the industry groups that was so hot during the pandemic. It’s been so hot that to see it kind of level out and balance out right now is not a surprise.”

Overall, Utah’s unemployment numbers continue to beat the national numbers — even with the fractional dip in August.

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Utah’s unemployment increases fractionally in August