Most of the jobs created by holding the Olympics in Salt Lake City will only be temporary, entry-level positions best suited for Utah's youngest and least-experienced workers, a state economic official said Thursday.

"It's a short-term thing. It's not going to be a career for them," Brad Barber, state deputy budget director, told members of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce gathered for an Olympic fund-raising breakfast.If those thousands of jobs don't materialize because Salt Lake City isn't awarded the 2002 Winter Games next year, Utah's economy won't suffer, Barber said.

"The future does not depend on this. It is not the thing that's going to make us or break us," he said, warning the Winter Games could even hurt the state's economy by encouraging too much growth.

Care must also be taken to protect those who will be hurt by increases in the cost of living, Barber said. "We must be concerned about the distribution (of Olympic revenues), who wins and who loses."

He suggested that government use some of its anticipated revenues, including $108 million in new tax collections, to help make sure growth doesn't "hurt those people on the lower end of the economic scale."

Most of the jobs that Barber expects would be created by the Olympics would be with the Winter Games organizing committee. Some 5,000 people will do everything from selling tickets to managing the $800 million Winter Games budget.

Besides jobs with the organizing committee, Barber said there would be nearly 2,000 in retail sales, more than 1,800 each in business services and restaurants, about 1,750 in hotels, and 1,400 in construction.

Other growth areas include health care, wholesale trade, transportation, amusements, communications, finance, auto repair, broadcasting, publishing, food processing, clothing manufacturing and utilities.

Barber said the majority of the work resulting from an Olympics would be during the years 2001 and 2002. Total earnings are expected to be $514 million.

Much of that would be paid to Utahns just entering the work force. Barber said the jobs will coincide with a projected population increase of some 50,000 Utahns between the ages of 16 and 24.

In the year 2002, Barber said, there should be 42,000 18-year-olds in the state. They'll be looking for jobs that will give them experience, and the Olympics will fit the bill, he said.

"There will be many beginning, entry-level positions ideal for the young population," Barber said. Temporary employment during the Winter Games will offer "experience for them in the work force."