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Unemployment rates climbing in Carbon, Emery County area

Unemployment in Carbon County inched up to 7.5 percent in May from the 7.4 percent jobless rate reported during April 2003.

By comparison, the unemployment rate in Carbon County registered at 5.9 percent in May 2002.

Emery County posted 10.5 percent and 11 percent jobless rates in April and May 2003 respectively. The unemployment rate in Emery County registered at 7.4 percent in May 2002.

At the state level, the jobless rate registered at 5.4 percent in May and approximately 65,100 Utahns were unemployed

"No change is really a good way to summarize the entire state of Utah's economy. Since the economy hit bottom a year ago, no new net job creation has developed. We're still looking for that igniting spark," commented Mark Knold, workforce services senior economist.

Utah's second primary indicator of current labor market conditions, the year-over change in non-farm jobs, remained flat in May at 1,071,400 positions statewide.

"With some minor fluctuations, the economy has basically been flat for the past year. Therefore, it is not surprising that a zero-percent employment situation is where the economy now sits. We don't expect the economy to experience a strong growth surge during this year, but we do expect the growth rate to marginally rise above this zero-percent threshold," noted Raylene Ireland, workforce services director.

Nationally, the United States jobless rate registered at 6.1 percent in May and nine million Americans were unemployed in May. The nation's job count remained down by 0.3 percent.

The nationwide employment count at 130.7 million jobs has persisted at slightly less than the zero percent growth threshold throughout 2003, an indication of a stagnant economy.

Wide-ranging increases in energy price continued to impact the U.S. economy during May. In turn, the corresponding price drops following the war with Iraq will translate into economic benefits, predicted the Utah Department of Workforce Services. However, the U.S. may not experience the economic benefits until June, July or later in the year.

In Utah, the economic floodwaters are basically stabilized. Last December, the economy grew 0.2 percent statewide, but the war psychology zapped the momentum.

Now, Utah is back to the zero-percent line, explained workforce services. The outlook for the remainder of 2003 predicts that Utah will modestly surpass and remain slightly higher than zero percent job creation line.

Employment in the state's education and health services sector has expanded throughout the recessionary environment.

Health care represents an expanding robust industry not only in Utah, but nationwide.

Government has been a second employment growth area in Utah, mostly in the federal national security arena and at the local levels.

Financial activities continued to add jobs statewide in May. Low home mortgage rates have been a catalyst to the industry.

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