The numbers are in and they show that Utah has flipped its COVID-induced job loss back to positive growth. Unemployment in December dropped to 3.6 percent, down from November’s 4.3 percent. That leaves about 60,000 Utahns still looking for a job, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS).
The national jobless rate was unchanged in December at 6.7 percent.
Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for December came in at an estimated 0.6 percent above the prior December — up about 9,900 jobs. Utah’s current employment level stands at 1,606,000.
“In December, Utah became the second state economy to flip from COVID-induced job losses back to economic expansion,” said Mark Knold, chief economist at DWS. “Entering the economic downturn with balanced economic fundamentals was the key for Utah to have absorbed significant job losses and in nine months reversed them. There is room for additional improvement, but the stage is set for an optimistic 2021.”
Utah’s December private-sector employment recorded a noticeable year-over expansion of 1.1 percent, the first job expansion since March 2020, the department said. Seven of Utah’s 10 private-sector major industry groups posted net year-over-year job gains. These are led by trade, transportation and utilities (14,000 jobs); construction (6,900 jobs); financial activities (6,100 jobs); and manufacturing (4,600 jobs).