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Utah posts continued statewide job growth

By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate reporter

As the nation continues to see strong economic growth, Utah is staying at the head of the pack.

Utah's economy has added 52,000 net jobs during the last 12 months, a gain of 4.5 percent.

Utah ranks fourth among the 50 states behind Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona respectively in the arena.

The largest employment expansion was seen in construction, up 11,800 jobs; professional and business services, up 11,600 jobs; and education and health care, up 5,200 jobs.

Natural resources saw the largest growth rate in the state with a 17.3 percent rise, while professional and business services registered an 8.0 percent increase.

The problem currently facing Utah is how to fill the demand in the expanding labor market.

"Extremely tight labor availability will limit growth over the next 18 months. Utah employers both large and small are having an extremely hard time remaining fully staffed. Even so, we continue to expect Utah to rank among the top 10 states in job growth. The wide diversity of employment gain, with considerable job additions in the highest wage sectors, bodes well for the Utah economy," stated Jeff Thredgold, Zions Bank economic consultant,

Looking at the nationwide picture, states in the West and South are witnessing robust growth, while the northeast and mid-western regions have seen a more modest economic increase.

States with more natural resources, including oil, natural gas and coal, are doing well, noted the economic consultant.






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