The “help wanted” signs that dot the local business landscape and fill the “help wanted” section of the Standard's classifieds section help illustrate the punch line to this story: Preliminary figures released by the Utah Department of Workforce Services shows Duchesne County's unemployment rate is among the lowest in the state, and much lower than the national rate.
Duchesne County's September 2012 rate is 3.5 percent. That's down by .2 percent from the August rate, and 1.6 percent lower than the same time in 2011.
Uintah County’s unemployment rate at 3.3 percent, the lowest in the state. The boom in oil and gas production in the Uintah Basin is credited for the low rates for the two counties.
Daggett County’s rate is 5.3 percent.
The statewide unemployment rate for Utah is 5.2 percent, according to the Workforce Service Department.
The county with the highest unemployment rate is Wayne County, at 10.5 percent.
The nationwide unemployment rate for September 2012 is 7.8 percent.
Natural resources and mining continue to benefit from the oil and gas expansion within the Uintah Basin. It is estimated that 500 jobs have developed over the past 12 months in this industry. This industry employs around 12,600 workers in Utah.
Construction employment is estimated to have contracted once again, down 1,200 over the past 12 months. The back-and-forth nature of the construction estimates this year (up some months, down in others) suggests the monthly employment survey struggles to effectively measure this industry. Construction is dominated by many small employers, and it is hard to gauge the cumulative activity of many small employers through a survey of limited size. Other sources of employment data suggest the construction industry in Utah is growing again, and that growth has been consistent throughout 2012.
Utah’s largest employment sector is Trade, Transportation, and Utilities. Estimated employment gains of 4,300 over the past 12 months are a growth rate of 2.6 percent. These gains are largely occurring on the trade side, both wholesale and retail.
The Information sector is estimated to have added 2,400 new jobs over the past 12 months. Information includes the publishing industry, motion pictures, telecommunications, and internet service providers, among others.
The Financial sector is making a rebound from the hit it took during the recession years. Approximately 3,800 jobs have been added over the past 12 months. Most of these are in financial institutions, as the real estate side of the equation has yet to post noticeable gains as the Utah housing market starts to revive.
The Professional and Business Services sector added the most new jobs in Utah over the past year at 10,800. A sizeable portion is coming from the professional, scientific, and technical side, an area that generally requires greater levels of education for employment and also returns higher-than-average wages. This includes accounting, engineering, design services, computer systems design forms, and consulting services, among others.
Private Education and Health Services is a stalwart of the Utah economy, having grown through both of the recessions of the past 10 years. The sector is estimated to have added 2,500 new jobs in Utah over the past 12 months.
The Leisure and Hospitality sector is estimated to have added 2,900 new jobs over the past 12 months. Much of this is occurring in the restaurant industry.
Government employment is estimated to be down 900 positions over the past 12 months. The bulk of the job loss is coming at the federal government level, mostly at the IRS and the Postal Service. State government employment was up 1.0 percent over the year through higher education employment gains. Uintah Basin Standard