The Utah Department of Workforce Services released the final monthly jobs report for 2022 on Friday, which showed the state’s unemployment rate is holding steady at a preliminary estimate of 2.2%, putting nearly 40,000 people out of work.
“All of 2022 is being viewed as a robust fiscal year for Utah,” said Mark Knold, chief economist at DWS, in a press release. “Job growth was above average for most of the year. Job availability and labor utilization were so pervasive that the unemployment rate fell to an all-time low of 2.0%. This year starts with an unemployment rate of 2.2%, which still speaks for the same workforce platform. This is the starting point for Utah’s economy in 2023.”
Also, the unemployment rate for Utah County remains at 2.2%, a continuation of November’s 2.2% and up 1.9% in 2021. The state’s job switch from November to December was the 14th, according to a Wallethub report .worst in the United States.
After hitting a 10-year high of 7.7% in April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah County’s unemployment rate has fallen every month to a low of 1.7% in March 2022. Since then has it either increased or stayed the same every month march.
Nonfarm employment in the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, which includes Utah and Juab counties, either showed growth or remained flat in most categories.
However, over the year the only sectors to see employment declines were wholesale (2.5%), information (0.6%), finance (3.8%) and professional/business services (3, 8th %). Financial activities and professional/business services were the only industries that declined nationwide in 2022.
DWS Public Information Director Jared Mendenhall attributed the decline in the financial sector to a rise in mortgage rates and job losses in the mortgage and banking industries.
Layoffs in tech and Silicon Slopes in December — particularly at Pluralsight, Route, Podium and more — would be reflected in declines in information and professional/business services.
“During the year we lost 300 jobs in this sector. This is a normal time of year when unemployment is rising and that’s when we’ll usually see it come down,” Mendenhall said. “If you were involved in any of these layoffs, you want to contact Workforce Services as soon as possible.”
Sectors with the highest employment growth in the Provo-Orem region were education and health services (6.3%) and transport, warehousing and supplies (3.6%).
The jobs report also shows a 21.6% increase in jobs in the extractive, mining and construction industries — although the data shows the industry reflects a small portion of Utah County’s employment.
Utah’s statewide unemployment rate of 2.2% is the lowest in the United States and well below the national level of 3.5%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Utah’s economy ended the year on a strong note,” said Mendenhall.