Box Elder unemployment graphic

This graphic shows changes in the Box Elder County unemployment rate since 1990. The rate hit a 30-year low of 2.3% in February 2007 before spiking to a high of 10.7% in May 2010.

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Utah’s economy continues to outperform the nation as a whole, and Box Elder County is no exception to that trend as the county’s unemployment rate dropped below 3% last month, according to new data released this week.

The estimated unemployment rate for Box Elder County was 2.9% in February, the Utah Department of Workforce Services reported Monday. That’s down from a revised 3.0% in January and 4.1% in February 2020.

An estimated 21,208 people were employed in the county last month, representing a 1.3% increase in jobs over the past year, according to the new numbers.

The unemployment rate in Box Elder briefly spiked as high as 10.3% in April 2020 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since fallen rapidly to pre-pandemic levels.

Juab County boasted the state’s lowest unemployment rate last month at 2.3%, followed closely by Cache County at 2.4%. At 8.0%, San Juan County in the southeastern corner of the state had the highest rate in February.

Meanwhile, Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for February 2021 is estimated with virtually no change across the past 12 months, with 300 fewer jobs since February 2020. Utah’s current employment level stands at 1,566,900. Utah’s January year-over job change has been revised up to -0.3%.

February’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 3.0% statewide, with approximately 48,774 Utahns unemployed. Utah’s January unemployment rate is unchanged at 3.1%.

The February national unemployment rate lowered to 6.2%, down from 6.3% in January, but still well above the 3.5% rate of a year earlier.

“Utah’s deliberate and steady pace toward job recovery continues,” reported Mark Knold, Chief Economist at the Department of Workforce Services. “February finds Utah’s employment count at equality with a year ago. Idaho is the only other state that can make such a claim. All other states are still struggling to get their economies pointed in the right direction. Utah’s private sector is leading its job rebound. Employment gains would be further along if not for COVID-19’s restraining effects upon the education sector.”

Utah’s February private sector employment recorded a year-over expansion of 0.7%. Five of Utah’s 10 private-sector major industry groups posted net year-over job gains, led by trade, transportation and utilities (10,900 jobs); professional and business services (8,500 jobs); and construction (5,000 jobs).

Five industry groups remain with year-over employment declines, most notably leisure and hospitality Services (-13,200 jobs); education and healthcare (-6,100 jobs); and Information (-1,400 jobs).

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