Jim Robson, Economist
Low Unemployment and Sustainable Growth
Economic conditions in the Mountainland Economic Service Area (Utah, Juab, Wasatch and Summit Counties) are bright with strong year-over job growth of 4.2 percent, or 9,890 new jobs from September 2013 to September 2014. This is a bit of a slowdown from 2013, when average payroll job growth in the region was a very rapid 5.2 percent above the average level of employment in 2012. There have been job increases in most major industry sectors with particular strength among professional/technical services, wholesale and retail trade, construction, food services and health care.
Utah, Summit, Wasatch and Juab Counties’ sustainable job growth and favorable labor market conditions persisted through the end of 2014 and are continuing into 2015. By December of 2014, the unemployment rate in Mountainland declined to a very favorable rate of 3.3 percent. A year ago the regional unemployment rate was 3.8 percent. Based on the strength of employment growth in recent years, job opportunities and low unemployment will continue to characterize this area. Job growth for 2015 will likely climb between 3.7 to 4.3 percent.
• Employment growth in Wasatch County from September 2013 to September 2014 continued at an energetic pace of 5.7 percent.
• The largest industry job increases occurred in construction with 129, up by 14.2 percent. Professional, scientific and technical services added 82 new jobs, most occurring in computer systems design, architecture, engineering, accounting and bookkeeping. Local government positions increased by 64 or 6.4 percent. Accommodations and food services rounded out the top four industries with 53 new jobs.
• For the year ending in September 2014 there was a net increase of 4.1 percent in firms and worksites within Wasatch County. This increase of 36 units brought the total count of firms and worksites to 916.
• The Wasatch County jobless rate was estimated at 3.5 percent in December 2014, down from 4.7 percent a year earlier. An estimated 396 workers were unemployed in December compared to 513 twelve months ago.
• Wasatch County maintained a favorable labor market through the end of 2014 adding to employment on average for the year by 540 jobs, about 8 percent.