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Utah’s nonfarm wage and salaried job count for March 2012, as generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), expanded by 2.3 percent compared against the employment level for March 2011. This is a 12-month increase of 27,400 jobs, and raises total wage and salary employment to 1,218,100.
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate—generated by BLS—is Utah’s other primary indicator of current labor market conditions and registers 5.8 percent. Approximately 78,150 Utahns are considered to be unemployed. The current United States unemployment rate, as compared to last month, fell one-tenth of a percentage-point to 8.2 percent.
Most of Utah’s industrial sectors have added jobs over the past 12 months, with the exception being the leisure and hospitality sector. The employment gains are diverse and fairly evenly distributed among the various industrial sectors, and that is a strong point in the current economic profile.
The industry in front of Utah’s economic recovery is professional and business services. Approximately 5,600 new positions have been added over the past 12 months. Nearly all are coming in the high-paying professional and technical industries like legal services, computer systems design, consulting, and market research.
Manufacturing jobs are estimated to have grown by 5,200 positions over the past 12 months.
Education and healthcare remain as stalwarts in the economic employment picture. The sector has grown by 4,000 positions over the past 12 months. These gains are equally split between private education (public education is grouped in government) and the healthcare industry. The demand for both of these industries’ products is driven by the size of the local population, its growth, and developing changes in the demographic structure.
The trade and transportation sector measured employment gains of around 3,800 over the past year. Most of these are on the trade side, with a nearly equal distribution between wholesale trade and retail trade.
One of the industries hit hard by the economic downturn was financial activities. Although its employment level is still below its pre-recession peak —as are most of Utah’s industrial sectors—this industry is finally seeing a rebound in employment activity. Approximately 2,900 jobs have re-emerged in this sector over the past 12 months.
Approximately 2,800 more construction jobs are observed in March than were there 12 months ago, and this without any notable contribution yet from the home-building market.
The natural resource industry has grown by 900 positions over the past year, largely due to natural gas and oil activities in the Uintah Basin of eastern Utah.
Estimates are that the leisure and hospitality industry is seeing 800 fewer jobs statewide now than were recorded at this time last year.