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Utah jobs: rate of openings slowing, but state still shorthanded

Part-time jobs have been proliferating this year as employers hold back on hiring.
Part-time jobs have been proliferating this year as employers hold back on hiring.

Utah reported one of the lowest unemployment levels in the country for March: 2.4%.

Utah’s Department of Workforce Services released its monthly jobs report Friday morning.

It told a story common around the country: unemployment is low and it’s hard for businesses to find suitable candidates for open positions.

But the report shows some changes on the horizon. Department of Workforce Services’ Chief Economist Mark Knold said the state added 44,100 new nonfarm jobs last year.

“The state’s labor force continues to find a supply of workers,” he said.

That might mean businesses are filling their open slots, slowly but surely.

“We are seeing the rate of job openings coming down from the COVID-era peak of a year ago,” Knold said. “The rate of job openings is still higher than anything seen before the pandemic. Available jobs are still plentiful.”

Of significance to ski tourism, Utah’s leisure and hospitality services added the second largest number of jobs over the past 12 months, behind education and health services.

There were 7,500 more leisure and hospitality employees statewide this March than in March 2022, almost a 5% increase.

Summit County saw a total job increase of about 7% over the past year, gaining 2,216 jobs.

Wasatch County’s numbers are holding steadier with an increase of 428 jobs, though that’s still 3.8% more than last March.

Utah’s unemployment rate for March 2023 was 2.4%, a full point lower than the national rate of 3.5%.

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