SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's jobs economy is still among the strongest in the country.
The state Department of Workforce Services reported Friday that January’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point from December to register at 3.1 percent. The report noted that approximately 49,400 Utahns were considered unemployed and actively looking for work during the first month of the year.
Nationally, the jobless rate increased slightly, rising one-tenth of a percentage point to register at 4.0 percent.
The state's nonfarm payroll employment for January rose by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 47,600 jobs to the economy year over year. The Beehive State's current employment level registered as 1,526,600 people considered gainfully employed.
The report indicated that Utah’s private sector employment grew by 3.5 percent over the past 12 months, bringing on 43,600 new positions, with all 10 of the private sector industry groups measured in the establishment survey posting net job increases for the month.
The largest private sector employment gains came in leisure and hospitality, which added 11,300 jobs; with trade, transportation and utilities adding 9,100 positions; and education and health services adding 5,600 new jobs. The fastest employment growth occurred in information — up 9.7 percent; leisure and hospitality rose 7.9 percent; and natural resources rose 5.5 percent.
“Our state has started 2019 on solid economic footing with job growth remaining in line with our long-run average,” said DWS chief economist Carrie Mayne. “Jobseekers are also faring well, with unemployment holding at a low level.”