SALT LAKE CITY — The Beehive State’s labor market continued to hum along in April, logging the highest job growth rate in the country for the second month in a row, according to Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.
In a report released Friday, the Utah Department of Workforce Services said the state’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by an estimated 3.4 percent, adding 49,400 jobs to the economy since April 2017. The state’s current employment level registered at more 1.5 million, with approximately 48,600 Utahns unemployed and actively seeking work during April.
According to the department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged from March at 3.1 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent.
“Healthy expansion continues to be the theme driving Utah’s economy,” Carrie Mayne, the department’s chief economist, said in a statement. “The sustained combination of strong job growth and low unemployment indicates Utah’s labor market is operating at an optimal level.”
Phil Dean, chief economist of the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, concurred.
“The state’s economic strength reflects not only an expansionary national economic climate, but also foundational state policy decisions designed to harness the power of market forces,” he said in a statement.
The report noted Utah’s private sector employment grew by 3.7 percent in the 12-month span with the addition of 45,300 positions. Eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job increases in April, while natural resources and mining lost 200 jobs and other services lost 600 jobs.
The largest private sector employment increases were in trade, transportation and utilities (11,600 jobs); professional and business services (9,100 jobs); and construction (7,100 jobs). The fastest employment growth occurred in construction (7.5 percent); leisure and hospitality (4.8 percent); and professional and business services (4.5 percent).