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SALT LAKE CITY—Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment estimate for February 2013, as generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), grew by 4 percent compared to the employment level for February 2012. This is a 12-month increase of 49,200 jobs and raises total payroll employment to 1,267,900.
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate—generated by BLS—is Utah’s other primary indicator of current labor market conditions and registers 5.2 percent. Estimates show that approximately 71,600 Utahns are unemployed and actively seeking work. The national unemployment rate posted a small drop in February to 7.7 percent.
Jobs continue to be added to the Utah economy at a steadily increasing rate. Labor force participation posted a modest increase of roughly one tenth of a percentage point and the number of employed increased by approximately 5,000 individuals. All of the major labor market indicators in Utah register on the positive side of the ledger, and coupled with a rebounding housing market, signals that Utah’s economy is primed for a healthy summer boost.
All industrial sectors added jobs in February compared to year-ago levels except mining, which was unchanged from one year ago. Notable levels of employment increases were measured in the leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and trade, transportation and utilities sectors. Government, which as of late has shed jobs, posted a small gain for the month. Growth occurred strictly at the state government level, primarily in education. University employment for the new semester was likely the source.