SALT LAKE CITY — The Beehive State added 50,000 new jobs to its collective payroll over the past 12 months.
The state Department of Workforce Services reported Friday that Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for May 2015 grew by about 3.8 percent, adding 50,000 jobs to the economy compared with May of last year. Currently, nearly 1.4 million Utahns are registered as gainfully employed.
The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate for the month of 3.5 percent increased 0.1 percent from the previous month. Almost 51,000 Utahns were unemployed in the month and actively seeking work, the report stated.
Utah had the third-lowest unemployment rate in the country, with only Nebraska at 2.6 percent and North Dakota at 3.1 percent registering lower rates. Nationally, the unemployment rate also increased one-tenth of a percentage point to register at 5.5 percent in May.
“While our May numbers show a minute shift from previous months, our overall labor force continues to grow, indicating no real slowdown in our economic momentum,” said Carrie Mayne, Department of Workforce Services chief economist.
The report also showed that nine of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the survey posted net job increases for the month compared with the same month last year.
The largest private sector employment increases were in trade, transportation and utilities, adding 10,600 new positions, with professional and business services adding 10,000 jobs, and education and health services adding 9,300 jobs.
The fastest year-over-year employment growth occurred in leisure and hospitality — up 6.0 percent, with professional and business services climbing 5.5 percent, and education and health services rising 5.4 percent.
Compared with the rest of the nation, Utah ranked first for year-over-year job growth at 3.8 percent, with Washington ranked second at 3.7 percent, followed by Florida at 3.4 percent. Utah also ranked first for private sector job growth at 4.5 percent, ahead of Washington and Florida.
“Our economy continues to grow in strength and diversity, and businesses recognize Utah is the place they want to invest and expand,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “That’s good news for all Utahns.”