Utah’s unemployment rate fell to 3.1% in January, further evidence of the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Beehive State’s jobless rate continued to hover at about half the national average, which was 6.3% in January. Unemployment in Utah dropped last month from 3.6% in December — a month when it had appeared to reverse all job losses for 2020.
New numbers released Wednesday indicate the state instead wound up slightly down on jobs, by 0.6%, for a year hobbled by COVID-19 and associated lockdowns.
State analysts now estimate that 50,100 Utahns were unemployed last month, far more than the 32,760 that officials report are drawing state unemployment benefits.
Mark Knold, chief economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said Utah’s private sector has returned to a growth pattern in jobs but that slippage in government employment, particularly in eduction, was “curbing the overall picture.”
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