Jobs in Utah and Idaho return after coronavirus pandemic


LOGAN — Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for December 2020 has grown by an estimated 0.6 percent across the past 12 months, with 9,900 more jobs since December 2019. Numbers released Friday from the Department of Workforce Services showed Cache and Rich counties showed job growth, while Box Elder County remained unchanged.

Mark Knold, Chief Economist at the Department of Workforce Services, said even though the number of new jobs during the past year is small it is still significant considering the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 economic setback was substantial and for most of the nation it remains that way,” stated Knold. “Among state economies, only Idaho and Utah can say that their economies are in terms of job quantities, larger today than they were a year ago, even with the pandemic between then and now.”

December’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 3.6 percent, with approximately 60,100 Utahns unemployed. Meanwhile, the December national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent.

Knold explained that entering the economic downturn with balanced economic fundamentals was the key for Utah, although some jobs have still not recovered.

“Any part of the economy that does its commerce and fundamental business interaction in crowd-heavy or physical interaction climates are the industry segments still under duress. These include entertainment venues, in-door dining establishments, recreation activities and conventions among others. Industries that cater to and rely on these activities also remain affected, like hotels, airlines and other travel professions.”

Utah’s December private sector employment recorded a noticeable year-over expansion of 1.1 percent, the first job expansion since March 2020.

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