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Front Page » November 12, 2002 » Local News » Job numbers drop in Utah, nation
Published 4,710 days ago

Job numbers drop in Utah, nation

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In October, Utah's statewide unemployment rate continued the 2002 trend of ranging between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Approximately 57,538 Utahns were unemployed last month, representing a 7.3 percent increase from the 53,618 in October 2001.

The number of employment opportunities statewide declined by 12,900 positions or 1.2 percent last month compared to October of last year.

In addition, venture capital money to businesses across the state plunged to the lowest level in five years, mirroring a national trend of shrinking deals, points out the latest Trendlines report compiled by the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

For the three months ending Sept. 30, Utah companies received $4.3 million in venture capital funding, down 93 percent from $63 million one year ago.

A report released by the United States Census Bureau shows that businesses with no paid employees or individually owned companies, grew 2.3 percent nationwide between 1999 and 2000.

The increase is less pronounced in Utah, where the businesses in question grew by slightly less than 1 percent. But the overall trend nationally and in the state continues to climb, indicates the workforce department.

Enrollments in Utah's colleges and universities climbed 4.4 percent in the fall of 2002, adds the latest Trendlines publication. Total full-time equivalent enrollment stood at 106,358 when the figures were compiled, compared with 101,832 in the fall of 2001.

Growth in higher education tends to coincide with economic downturns, points out the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

At the national level, the U.S. economy lost jobs in October for the second straight month and the jobless rate inched up to 5.7 percent.

The number of American workers included on non-farm payrolls fell by 5,000 in October, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits filed at locations throughout the U.S. rose by 16,000 for the week ending Oct. 26 to reach a seasonally adjusted 410,000, indicates the U.S. Labor Department.

The four-week moving average, a more reliable measure of employment conditions because it irons out fluctuations, edged down slightly.

Spending for new U.S. construction increased 0.6 percent in September as home building boomed, explains the U.S. Commerce Department.

But non-residential construction fell to the lowest level posted since July 1996 as business spending cuts hindered commercial projects.

U.S. economic growth spurted forward during the third quarter, powered by brisk consumer spending, continues the latest workforce services Trendlines report.

Gross domestic product advanced at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the three months from July to September, rebounding from the 1.3 percent posted in the second quarter.

U.S. consumers cut back on spending, while personal income levels registered moderate growth.

Personal spending, one of the main drivers of economic growth, decreased 0.4 percent in September for the first drop since November 2001, confirms the U.S. Commerce Department.

Personal income, however, grew by 0.4 percent. Economists closely track consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the economic activity in the United States.

The conference board's consumer confidence index dropped to 79.4 in October from 93.7 in September to register at a low not witnessed since November 1993.

Excluding September 2001, the decrease represented the largest monthly decrease experienced since 1990.

U.S. employment costs grew at a slower pace than expected during the third quarter as businesses cut back on worker expenses in an attempt to stay afloat while the economy barely crawled ahead.

The nationwide employment cost index - a broad gauge of what companies pay in wages, salaries and benefits - inched up a modest 0.8 percent during the July through September quarter, indicates the U.S. Labor Department.

In October, Wall Street locked in the first winning month since spring. And last month was the Dow Jones industrials' second-best October on record.

A backlog of import containers at West Coast ports has numerous U.S. retailers upset that toys, shoes, televisions and other goods are not moving fast enough from ships to shelves, concludes the latest Trendlines report issued by the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

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