Utah reclaimed its best-in-nation unemployment position in July with the rate dropping to 4.5 percent, just ahead of second-place Nebraska’s 4.8 percent. The figure proves that Utah is rebounding vigorously from the unprecedented plunge in joblessness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unemployment rate means that about 72,900 Utahns were out of a job and actively looking in July. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate dropped to 10.2 percent.
For the 12 months ending in July, Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment was still down 1.8 percent — about 27,500 jobs — compared to a year ago. The total number of residents holding jobs at the end of July sat at 1,516,800.
“July’s employment assessment is a third consecutive month of Utah employment improvement,” said Mark Knold, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “While the pace of job gains moderated a bit compared to the prior two months, the Utah economy is rebounding with vigor.”
Following the release of the July 2020 employment numbers for the state, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows Utah is ranked No. 2 for total job growth in the U.S. at minus 1.8 percent, behind Idaho’s minus 0.7 percent. Utah is ranked No. 2 behind Idaho for private-sector job growth at minus 2.3 percent.
Utah’s private-sector employment in July continued to improve, with the year-over-year setback lessening to minus 2.3 percent. Four of 10 private-sector major industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job gains in July, up from three in June. Primary gains are observed in construction (7,900 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (3,900 jobs); and financial activities (3,000 jobs). Six industry groups posted employment declines. These were most impactful in leisure and hospitality services (minus 30,000 jobs), education and healthcare (minus 6,800 jobs) and professional and business services (minus 6,200 jobs).