The December 2023 employment summary for Utah was recently released. According to the Department of Workforce Services (DWS), the state’s non-farm payroll employment for December increased an estimated 1.7% and the economy added a cumulative 28,900 jobs since December of 2022.
Currently, Utah’s job count stands at 1,734,700 and the month’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was estimated to be 2.8%. There are approximately 50,900 Utahns that are unemployed, making the unemployment rate from November unrevised. Similarly, the December national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%.
DWS Chief Economist Mark Knold stated that Utah’s extremely low unemployment rates may finally be weighing upon the economy. He said that when labor is in short supply, an economy may not be able to expand at a pace that is equal to its full potential.
“We believe Utah’s slowing job growth is based upon a labor restriction, and not upon any business weakening or economic malfunctions,” said Knold.
For Utah in December, private sector employment recorded a year-over-year expansion of 1.5%, which translates to a 21,000-job increase. Eight of the ten major private-sector industry groups saw net year-over-year job gains, with the overall gains being led by education and health services with 9,800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality followed with 7,400 jobs and construction was in third place with 3,400 jobs. Information was the final group with 2,900 jobs.
There were two sectors that recorded job losses, which were trade/transportation/utilities (-5,500 jobs) and professional and business services (-1,200 jobs).