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Front Page » November 17, 2005 » Local News » Carbon experiences employment growth
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Carbon experiences employment growth

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Carbon County posted a 3.5 percent employment expansion rate in October.

The latest data compiled by the Utah Department of Workforce services indicate that non-farm employment opportunities in the county climbed to 9,044 in October, up from 8,913 in September.

By comparison, Carbon County reported 8,741 local jobs opportunities in October 2004.

Neighboring Emery County experienced 1.9 percent employment growth with 3,857 non-farm jobs last month.

By comparison, Emery County reported 3,784 and 3,782 employment opportunities in October 2004 and September 2005 respectively.

At the state level, Utah's unemployment rate in October registered at 4.5 percent, down 0.6 percentage points from the 5.1 percent jobless level witnessed statewide last year ago.

Approximately 55,800 Utahns were unemployed in October compared to 62,000 in 2004.

Utah's second primary indicator of labor market conditions, the year-over change in the number of non-farm wage and salaried jobs statewide, registered at 3.5 percent, noted the department of workforce services.

Last month's employment expansion level represents a continuation of statewide job growth rates that have hovered in the mid 3 percent range for the last five months.

"October's numbers keep Utah's economy moving along at a healthy level. High gas prices and the other effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita have not brought economic storm clouds west. The winter months don't offer much in the way of potential hurdles. Gasoline prices are down to pre-Katrina levels," pointed out Mark Knold, department of workforce services economist.

" Natural gas prices, we are told, will be significantly higher this winter, but it will be at least two months before consumers see that impact on their bills. And even then, these high energy prices just don't seem to be enough to derail Utah's strong economic climate," continued Knold.

Since October 2004, the United States economy added 1.9 million jobs for a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 1.8 percent just a few months ago, noted the department of workforce services economist. The slowing will likely turn out to be a short-lived consequence of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

During the last month, Utah's economy created approximately 39,600 employment opportunities for a growth rate of 3.5 percent. Utah's additions represent about 2.8 percent of the jobs created at locations across the nation in the designated one-year period. The U.S. unemployment rate moved down slightly to 5.0 percent in October.

All industries continued to add workers to payrolls last month, explained the department of workforce services economist. Construction and professional and business services continued to lead the way. The number of jobs added in professional and business services slowed a bit, while the rate of construction employment growth accelerated.

Construction's gains are widespread across the state. Construction has expanded by approximately 9,700 jobs at locations throughout Utah during the course of the last year. The volume of growth has increased steadily as 2005 has progressed and represents the highest rate of employment expansion - 12.6 percent - experienced in the Utah sector in 10 years, continued the department of workforce services economist.

The largest volume of construction growth is in Salt Lake, Washington, Utah and Davis counties. But only a small number of counties in the state failed to post growth in construction employment in October 2005.

Utah's professional and business services added 7,700 jobs for 5.5 percent growth in the last year, but the sector's employment expansion rate is slowing. The slowing is not a nascent sign of weakening in the industry, but is a reflection of comparing against a strengthening year-ago performance, noted Knold. Therefore, the gap between 2005 and last year will lessen, producing a decreasing growth rate.

Other Utah employment sectors with solid growth job growth from October 2004 to October 2005 included government, trade/transportation/ utilities, education and health care. The state's information sector and financial activities also recently started showing a noticeable rise in employment levels.

Utah's growth is not only industrially diverse, but dispersed across two-thirds of the counties in the state, indicated the department of workforce services economist. Only a handful of small counties are not experiencing employment growth, including Rich, Morgan and Piute.

In Uintah County, employment growth is moving along at nearly 8 percent, signaling a return to the energy boom of the 1970s. Oil and gas activities are the driving factor. These are found in the natural resources sector, and half of its 900 new positions are centered in Uintah County.

Tooele, Juab and Wasatch counties have witnessed year-over employment growth rates exceeding 10 percent. Sitting on the periphery of the metropolitan Wasatch Front, the counties' growth is directly related to the proximity and spillover from the metropolitan areas, concluded the Utah Department of Workforce Services economist.

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