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Business & Economy

Construction Leads Utah Employment Growth

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The Adobe Systems campus under construction in Lehi, Utah

  Utah posted strong employment numbers again in November.  But there’s one area of the economy where there may be trouble ahead.

The total number of jobs was 3.3 percent higher than a year ago.  The unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6 percent.

Carrie Mayne is the chief economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services.  She says construction was the segment of the economy growing fastest at 9.6 percent.

“We see some growth in the construction of buildings," Mayne tells KUER.  "We have growth also in heavy and civil engineering and growth also in the specialty and trade contractors.”

North Dakota and Texas had higher job growth numbers.  Mayne says both of those states depend heavily on oil and gas.  And she says the impact of low oil prices will likely be felt in eastern Utah soon.

“Statewide, it doesn’t have a large effect," she says. "For those particular sets of counties, it’s a significant driver of their economy.”

The national unemployment rate was 5.8 percent last month.  Governor Gary Herbert reacted to the job numbers by saying Utah’s economy is “the envy of the nation.”

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