June 15, 2012

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Utah’s Employment Summary: May 2012

Press Release

June 15, 2012

Utah’s nonfarm wage and salaried job count for May 2012, as generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), expanded by 2.4 percent compared against the employment level for May 2011. This is a 12 month increase of 28,800 jobs, and raises total wage and salary employment to 1,230,500.

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate—generated by BLS—is Utah’s other primary indicator of current labor market conditions and registers 6.0 percent. Approximately 81,100 Utahns are considered to be actively unemployed. The current United States unemployment rate, as compared to last month, rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

Nearly all of Utah’s industrial sectors continued to add jobs over the past 12 months, the lone exception being the leisure and hospitality sector. The government sector expanded by just 600 positions, so the bulk of Utah’s employment growth is occurring within private sector businesses. On a percentage basis, the goods-producing industries (mining, construction, manufacturing) are the most robust, with a year-over growth rate of 4.9 percent. The much larger service-producing side of the economy (84 percent of all employment) is estimated to have employment gains of 1.9 percent over the past year, although quantitatively the service producing side added 19,500 jobs to 9,300 in goods-producing.

Goods Producing
The natural resources and mining sector is Utah’s most forceful with employment gains over the year of 8.8 percent, or 2,000 jobs. Most of this is being generated in the Uintah Basin, Utah’s oil and gas region abutting Wyoming and Colorado.

After five years, construction jobs are on the rebound in Utah. Approximately 3,300 new construction jobs are estimated to have developed over the past 12 months. This is the best job growth this industry has seen since October 2007.

Manufacturing jobs are estimated to have grown by 5,000 positions over the past 12 months. This makes manufacturing one of the top three job producers in Utah. The gains are occurring in both durable and nondurable products.

Service Producing
Utah’s largest employment sector is trade, transportation, and utilities, and is also in the top three in job creation with 5,000 new jobs over the past year. The gains are coming at both the wholesale and retail components on the trade side. The transportation sector is also pitching in roughly 1,400 new jobs over the past year, with most in truck transportation.

The Information sector includes activities such as publishing, motion pictures, telecommunications, and Internet services. It is a small employment area in Utah, making up 2.5 percent of Utah’s total. Over the past year, roughly 1,700 new jobs have been added, a 5.8 percent growth rate.

Financial activities are on the mend in Utah after the recession’s setback. About 2,300 new jobs are estimated to have developed in this sector over the past year. This sector accounts for around 6 percent of all Utah employment, but it has a high concentration (and thus higher importance) in the Salt Lake City area.

The Professional and Business Services sector added the most new jobs in Utah over the past year at 9,100. About half of this growth is coming from the professional, scientific, and technical side, which is an area that generally requires high levels of education for employment and also returns higher-than-average wages. The remainder is coming from a potporui of services such as security, landscaping, janitorial, services to buildings, and waste management.

Private Education and Health Services is a stalwart of the Utah economy, having grown through both of the recessions of the past decade. However, current employment estimates have the industry growing at its lowest levels of the past 15 years. Employment gains of 1,800 are only a 1.2 percent growth rate.

The Leisure and Hospitality (L&H) sector is the only sector with job losses over the past year, being down 1,400 positions. Estimates have most of these losses in the restaurant industry.

The industry titled Other Services is a small employment sector (about 3 percent of Utah

employment) that includes a potpourri of service businesses not classified in the other service producing sectors. This can range from repair shops to beauty salons to parking garages to churches. Around 400 additional jobs were added here over the past year.

The three branches of government (federal, state, and local) combined to add 600 jobs in Utah over the past year. Federal employment has fallen by nearly 3,000 positions. Local government is largely unchanged over the past year, so most of the gains are coming at the state government level (up 3,400), with state government education providing two-thirds of this increase.

* Additional analysis and tables http://jobs.utah.gov/wi/pubs/une/index.html

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