(KCPW News) Utah remains one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to employment growth, according to the latest report from the Department of Workforce Services. Department of Workforce Services Chief Economist Mark Knold says Utah added more than 30,000 jobs over the past year, bringing total state employment to more than 1.2 million.
“When I look at how Utah ranks with the rest of the country I like to look at the employment growth. That is the most telling variable in the overall economic picture,” says Knold. “We have 2.5 percent employment growth. The last time I checked, that would put us in the top five in states in employment growth, behind North Dakota which has an energy boom going on, and Wyoming.”
Nearly 85,000 Utah residents are still seeking jobs, and Knold says even if the state continues on its current path, it will take years to get back to pre-recession job numbers.
“We’re not Pollyanna in terms of ‘oh this is employment growth and all is fine and good and dandy and everything is over with,’ that’s not the case,” says Knold. “But, we also understand that it’s not just going to go away overnight either. It’s a process. This 2.5 percent employment growth is showing us that we are in the process. Other states aren’t even in the process of repairing the damage from the recessionary setback.”
Nearly 80,000 jobs were lost statewide when the recession hit.