Utah’s # 2 employment rate in the country as delta variant emerges – St George News


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Image bank | Photo by Lorenzo de Pexels, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Utah’s August employment rate remains one of the best in the country.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates | Graph courtesy of US Bureau of Labor Statistics, St. George News

According to a summary released by the Utah Department of Workforce Services on September 17, the national unemployment rate was 5.2% in August. Meanwhile, Utah’s numbers came in second in the country at 2.6%, with most of southern Utah posting similar numbers. Although the delta variant of COVID-19 has appeared, its impact is not expected to be a major issue.

“Utah’s August Jobs Report shows the state’s economy is still on solid footing,” said Mark Knold, chief economist for the Department of Workforce Services, in his monthly audio release. . “It continues to develop, and it is way ahead of most other states. The two-year job growth in the state is 3.8% and the unemployment rate is extremely low at 2.6%. The labor force participation rate continues to increase, indicating that more and more workers are returning to the labor market and that the percentage of the employed labor force is also increasing. “

As employment improves in Utah, the state is still not showing the same overall levels as it was before COVID-19.

“The participation rate of Utah’s workforce has increased significantly over the past four months,” Knold said. “It is currently at 67.9%, but when COVID started it was at 68.5%.”

Year-over-year percentage change in non-farm employment | Graph courtesy of US Bureau of Labor Statistics, St. George News

Knold said those numbers amounted to about 14,000 fewer people in the workforce than before COVID started.

“In other words,” he said, “as good as Utah’s economic numbers are, there is still room for improvement. We are not currently in a full employment economy, but we’re close. We’re working on it, but we’re not there yet. “

Regarding the stability of the current economy, Knold said the delta variant poses the most visible threat to the economy. However, he added, there is good news.

“With last year’s initial wave of COVID under our belt and the knowledge that has been learned from it, the Delta Variant, as a healthcare crisis, is not the unknown and fearful like the was the initial COVID outbreak, ”Knold said. “For this reason, the delta variant should not be as powerful an economic deterrent as the initial pandemic outbreak.

“Utah’s economy is expected to weather this storm and see better days on the other side.”

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