SALT LAKE CITY — A new report from the Department of Workforce Services shows Cache County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.7 percent. The ranking comes as no surprise for businesses who are desperately searching for workers.
The high number of help wanted signs are not just a Cache County phenomenon. Friday’s report showed Box Elder and Rich county’s unemployment rates were at 2.2 percent.
Overall, Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for August 2021 increased an estimated 3.8 percent during the past two years. Meanwhile, officials also reported the state’s economy added a cumulative 55,700 jobs since August 2019, while Utah’s current employment level stands at 1,614,800.
Mark Knold, Chief Economist at the Department of Workforce Services said the August Job Report showed the state is still on “solid footing.”
“[The economy] is continuing to expand and it is doing so far ahead of most other states,” explained Knold. “The state’s two-year job growth is at 3.8 percent and the unemployment rate is at an extremely low 2.6 percent. The labor force participation rate continues to increase, signaling more workers are returning to the job market, and the employed percentage of the labor force is also increasing.”
Friday’s report estimated that approximately 42,600 Utahns are unemployed. Meanwhile, Utah’s July unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.6 percent, while the national rate is 5.2 percent.
Knold said despite the growth in employment numbers, the Delta variant is casting a cloud on the state’s economy. August’s two-year growth rate of 3.8 percent was down from July’s 4.2 percent.
“When consumers sense the unknown, like the playing out of the Delta variant from our current perspective, they tend to tighten up on spending. We are seeing this with not just the Utah economic numbers but also at the national level.”
Utah’s August private sector employment recorded a two-year expansion of 4.7 percent. Six of Utah’s 10 major private-sector industry groups posted net two-year job gains, led by Professional and Business Services.