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Carbon County witnesses declining unemployment rate in June

By Sun Advocate

Carbon County experienced decreasing unemployment in June, with the local jobless rate dipping to 5.1 percent from the 6 percent registered in May.
By comparison, Carbon County reported a 6.3 percent unemployment rate in April 2002 and a 5.7 percent joblessness level in June 2001.
In neighboring Emery County, the unemployment rate jumped from 6.6 percent in May to 8.1 percent in June.
Emery County posted a 9.7 percent unemployment level in April 2002 and a 9.3 percent joblessness rate in June 2001.
At the state level, Utah’s unemployment rate inched downward in June, registering at 4.7 percent.
“There has been a noticeable decrease in people filing for unemployment insurance the last several months. We are also seeing a noticeable decline in large layoff activity across the state,” noted Mark Knold, senior workforce services economist.
“The Utah economy is probably at its inflection point. However, it may take several more months before we see hiring activity improve, but the worst is probably behind us,” indicated Knold.
Approximately 53,500 Utahns were unemployed in June 2002. The number of jobless residents in the state represents a 16.4 percent increase from the 45,950 unemployed Utahns reported in June 2001, when the rate was 4.1 percent.
Utah’s second primary indicator of current labor market conditions, the year-over change in the number of non-farm wage and salaried jobs, remained negative.
The number of Utah jobs has dropped 1.5 percent or 16,000 positions for June 2002, according to preliminary data compiled by the state department of workforce services.
May’s statewide unemployment measurement was revised from a preliminary 1.5 percent jobless rate to 1.4 percent.
For the United States, the June 2002 unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged, indicated the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
The number of unemployed Americans registered at 8.4 million and the nationwide jobless rate stood at 5.9 percent in June 2002.
The nationwide jobless measures were higher in the second quarter than in the first quarter of the year.
U.S. non-farm employment remained in negative territory. For June 2002, year-over, non-farm employment was down by 1.1 percent.
In Utah, the economy is not showing signs of a turnaround.
Manufacturing, construction, trade and transportation/communications/utilities have all lost jobs.
Services, the state’s largest employment sector, managed to show growth of 0.8 percent, pointed out the department or workforce services. But the employment expansion in the services sector is not enough to counter the losses and lift Utah’s economy out of its malaise.
Without significant job growth during the second half of 2002, Utah will experience the first year since 1964 with a decline in job opportunities across the state.
Manufacturing continues as one of the state’s most glaring job-loss industries, recording more than 7,600 fewer year-over jobs for a decline of 6.0 percent.
Nationally, the manufacturing industry has experienced strong leading economic indicators for several months, showing signs of a turnaround.
But with the currently underutilized capacity and hours worked, the nation’s existing resources will likely absorb the initial rebound.
Construction in Utah continued with employment levels well below last year’s and the trend will continue throughout 2002, according to workforce services.
One year ago, Utah’s construction industry employed 73,400 workers at locations throughout the state.
Currently, construction employs 66,20 workers. As with manufacturing, no turnaround of is expected in 2002, indicated the department of workforce services.
Utah’s industry conglomeration of transportation/communications/utilities dropped 2,100 jobs statewide.
The drop in jobs constitutes a 3.5 percent decrease in employment opportunities provided by the sector at locations across Utah.
The trade industry employs in the neigborhood of 248,700 Utahns. The size of the trade industry’s labor force marks the division as the second largest employment sector in Utah, ranking behind services, explained the state department.
But employment in Utah’s trade sector was down by 3,700 workers last month. The drop represented a 1.5 percent decrease in job opportunities, added the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
Slight improvement in restaurant employment failed to counter losses in grocery stores, department stores, home and garden stores and wholesale trade establishments, according to state economists.
Although a weak economy continues to strain the budgets for the provision of public services in Utah, government employment continues to expand in the state.
However, state government employment remained flat in June.
The largest employment increases came within local governments at the education level.
Utah’s largest employment sector, services reported approximately 318,700 workers in June – 2,500 more employees than a year ago.
The technology sector previously played a significant role in the industry’s high-growth performance statewide. But the situation has reversed and high-tech has posted noticeable job losses.
However, employment gains in health care, recreation, private education, engineering and management along with personal services are combining to keep the sector on a positive growth note across Utah.

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