While the nation’s unemployment rate eased down one-tenth of a percentage point in July, Utah’s went the other way by the same amount. July’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 3.5 percent. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS), that means 54,500 Utahns were out of a job and actively seeking employment.

The national unemployment rate dipped to 4.3 percent.

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for July grew by an estimated 2.9 percent over the previous year, adding 41,300 jobs to the economy since July 2016. The department estimates that 1,460,200 people hold jobs in the state.

“With more than 40,000 new jobs added since last year, Utah’s economy continues to exhibit healthy expansion,” said Carrie Mayne, chief economist at DWS. “The unemployment rate showed a slight increase again in July, but remains near full employment.”

Eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job increases in July as compared to last year, but the natural resources and mining industry sector lost 500 positions and the information industry dropped 1,800 positions. 

The largest private sector employment increases were in professional and business services (10,700 jobs); construction (6,900 jobs); and trade, transportation, and utilities (6,800 jobs). The fastest employment growth occurred in construction (7.3 percent), professional and business services (5.2 percent), and other services (4.4 percent).

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