After a brief uptick in September, Utah’s jobless rate returned to 4.1 percent in October, but that number may be temporary, too. Officials are cautioning that the rate could jump when November's numbers are released in mid-December due to the large spike in COVID-19 cases during the month. Some businesses have again cut back operations to help stem the coronavirus curve.
The national unemployment rate for October was reported at 6.9 percent, down from September’s 7.9 percent. Utah’s September rate was 5 percent.
Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for October was down by an estimated 0.5 percent from 12 months ago, with 8,400 fewer jobs since October 2019. Utah’s current employment level stands at approximately 1,578,700.
“Utah continues pushing its job losses toward the point of net neutrality,” said Mark Knold, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “Eliminating Utah’s year-over job losses would be a milestone within the greater national pandemic’s economic sphere. Not only would it be the launching point from which Utah’s economy will once again grow, but it would mark Utah as one of the first states to regain economic expansion.”
Utah’s October private-sector employment recorded a year-over-year decline of 0.6 percent, an improvement above September’s revised minus 0.9 percent deficit. Half of Utah’s 10 private-sector major industry groups posted net year-over-year job gains. These are trade, transportation and utilities (10,500 jobs); construction (5,100 jobs); financial activities (3,000 jobs); other services (2,700 jobs); and manufacturing (1,300 jobs). Five industry groups remain with year-over-year employment declines. These include leisure and hospitality services (down 21,700 jobs), professional and business services (down 4,100 jobs), information (down 2,100 jobs), education and health services ( down 2,000 jobs) and mining (down 1,100 jobs).