Utah’s unemployment rate drops to 6 percent

SALT LAKE CITY – A new jobs report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services showed unemployment dropped in December.

According to the monthly employment summary report produced by the DWS, the state’s unemployment numbers dropped from 6.4 percent in November, to 6.0 percent in December. Three months ago the rate was 7.4 percent.

“Such a rapid decline is partly attributed to employment gains, and partly attributed to people leaving the labor force,” the report stated.

Gov. Gary Herbert said the December data was great news for the people of Utah.

“Utah’s policies are working,” Herbert said. “Employment growth of three percent is certainly something to cheer about. We are steadily creating jobs while ensuring Utah maintains a predictable and stable environment for capital investment…It’s clear that Utah is leading the nation out of this economic downturn.”

All of Utah’s industrial sectors added jobs, the report noted. The only exception was government, which decreased by point-four-percent. The estimated number of jobs gained in December was 4,700, bringing the state’s unemployment rate to down to 80,300 from 85,000 in November.

The chief economist in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, Juliette Tennert, said the numbers may bounce around over the next year, but Utah had come a long way since the depths of the recession.

“While we are still challenged by labor force participation and unemployment, this state is posting growth that outpaces national averages,” Tennert said.

Washington County’s unemployment rate was 9.9 in November. December’s percentages for individual counties will be available on Jan. 23.

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Copyright 2012 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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1 Comment

  • Joe Ferguson January 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I’d say it was mostly attributed to the temporary increase in seasonal hiring for the holidays. Now during the month of January, we’ll most likely see another increase in unemployment and headlines wondering why.

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