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Carbon County witnesses climbing unemployment level in September

Carbon County's unemployment rate climbed from approximately 3.5 percent in August to 4.5 percent in September.

The rising unemployment level reflects the impact on Carbon County's economy associated with the Crandall Canyon disaster and layoffs in the local coal mining industry.

At the state level, Utah's number of non-farm wage and salaried jobs for September continued to drop slightly, dipping to 4.4 percent employment growth during the past year. But despite the downward move, the state's employment expansion exceeds the long-term average of 3.3 percent per year since 1950, according to the latest data compiled by the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Approximately 53,500 jobs were created in Utah's economy in the last year.

Utah's second primary indicator of labor market conditions - the statewide unemployment rate - measured at 2.7 percent in September.

Approximately 37,000 Utahns were unemployed last month compared to 35,400 in September 2006, indicated the department of workforce services.

At the national level, the United States' unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.7 percent in September.

"The economic environment is currently maintaining its strength, but I also believe it is on the cusp of losing some energy," explained Mark Knold, department of workforce services economist. "Employment growth remains at over 4 percent and the unemployment rate is exceedingly low."

"But with Utah's strong growth about to enter its fourth year of robust activity, the odds of its continuing at this pace diminish. I believe that employment growth will move off the 4 percent plateau and drop into the 3 percent range by early next year," noted Knold.

Since September 2006, the U.S. economy added 1.6 million jobs for a statewide growth rate of 1.2 percent.

Utah's approximately 53,500 labor market positions represent about 3.3 percent of all jobs added nationwide during the last 12 months.

All industrial sectors in Utah continued to create employment opportunities statewide last month, according to the data compiled by the department of workforce services.

Construction led Utah's job growth and generated more than 11,800 labor market positions at locations across the state since September 2006.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector followed construction, creating 11,000 employment opportunities in Utah during the last year.

" It appears it won't be long before construction's three-year reign of leading Utah's job growth will be supplanted," pointed out Knold. "Examining history not only shows us what has happened, but also suggests what can and will happen going forward. As mentioned, all industrial sectors are adding new jobs and have been for the past two plus years. But history reveals that this is not a common occurrence. In fact, it is more common to not have collective industry growth."

In September, Utah's information sector created only 100 employment opportunities statewide.

The information sector's largest segments include Utah's publishing and telecommunications industries, concluded the department of workforce services economist.

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