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Front Page » June 14, 2007 » Local News » Carbon County economy continues to support expanding empl...
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Carbon County economy continues to support expanding employment rate


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Carbon County continued to experience employment expansion in May.

The latest data compiled by the Utah Department of Workforce Services indicate that Carbon's economy created 377 employment opportunities during the one-year period between May 2007 and May 2006.

The additions in the local labor market represent a 3.9 percent job growth rate.

Last month, Carbon County reported 10,106 non-farm salary and wage jobs compared to the 9,729 positions posted in the local labor market in May 2006.

At the state level, Utah's number of non-farm wage and salaried jobs continued to grow 4.5 percent in May.

Employment growth has been steady at the 4 percent level throughout 2007.

Utah's current growth remains higher than the state's long term average of 3.3 percent per year since 1950.

Expanding employment levels also keep Utah as one of the best performing state economies in the nation.

"We are nearly halfway through 2007 and the Utah economy continues to perform at a stellar rate. We are riding on the high end of our historic performance and it seems safe to conclude that Utah will continue to excel throughout the remainder of this year," explained Mark Knold, department of workforce services economist.

"The Rocky Mountain region remains the nation's best economy, although there is a shift underway where the stalwart growth in the southern Rocky Mountain states - Nevada and Arizona - is slowing and is moving northward to Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Their slowdown should help our labor supply, especially in the construction industry. We'll take what we can get for as long as we can get it," added Knold.

Approximately 54,000 jobs have been created in the Utah economy during the past year, raising total wage and salary employment to 1,250,500 labor market positions statewide.

The increase translates to approximately 4,500 employment opportunities created monthly in Utah the last year.

Utah's second primary indicator of labor market conditions, the statewide unemployment rate, measured at 2.5 percent in May, down from last year's 3 percent .

Approximately 33,100 Utahns were unemployed in May 2007 compared to 39,600 in May 2006.

The United States' unemployment rate registered at 4.5 percent in May.

Since May 2006, the United States' economy added 1.9 million jobs for a growth rate of 1.4 percent.

The approximately 54,000 employment opportunities in Utah represent about 2.8 percent of all the jobs added nationwide in the last 12 months.

Utah comprises less than 1 percent of all United States jobs.

Nearly all industrial sectors continued to grow in Utah.

Construction, professional-business services, trade and transportation continued to lead the way as the top job-producing industries.

The three sectors accounted for 60 percent of the jobs created in Utah during the past year.

Utah's manufacturing sector added 5,100 new jobs in the last 12 months.

The situation in Utah is a contrast to what the manufacturing industry is doing nationwide.

Nearly all of the nation from Missouri eastward is losing manufacturing jobs.

But Utah and Nevada stand out as the two best states nationwide for adding manufacturing jobs.

Utah's manufacturing growth is diverse, pointed out the department of workforce services economist.

Gains were noted in computer and electronic products, furniture, fabricated metal products, non-metal mineral products, sporting goods, transportation equipment, and wood products.

The state's leisure and hospitality industry is generally tagged as a proxy for the tourism industry, explained Knold.

The sector includes hotels and restaurants along with arts, entertainment and recreation facilities.

At 9 percent of all employment statewide, the industry is important in Utah.

But with the national average being 9.6 percent, it would appear that it is no more important to Utah's economy than it is to other states, noted Knold.

The situation changes, however, when economists talk about individual counties.

In Utah, there are counties with economies that are extremely dependent upon the tourism industry, continued Knold.

For example, in Summit, Garfield and Grand counties, the tourism sector accounts for one-third of all employment.

Other areas with a high employment ratio in the industry include Wasatch, Rich, Daggett and nearly all of Utah's southern counties.

Statewide, leisure and hospitality employment has been growing in Utah. During the last 12 months, 2,900 jobs have developed for a growth rate of 2.8 percent.

Since 2000, the leisure and hospitality sector has expanded by 15 percent, exceeding the statewide average of 12 percent for all industries.

The leisure and hospitality industry is doing well in Utah and the employment growth is a welcome addition in a state with counties heavily dependent upon the sector's vibrancy., concluded the department of workforce services economist



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