Unemployment in Box Elder County saw a slight uptick in August, but remained near historically low levels as local employers continue to offer higher wages, bonuses and other incentives to attract workers.
According to the latest figures from the Utah Department of Workforce services, the unemployment rate for Box Elder County came in at 2.3% last month, up from a record-low 2.2% in May through July. The statewide rate was unchanged last month at 2.6%. Nationwide, unemployment fell to 5.2%.
DWS Chief Economist Mark Knold said the state’s recent three-month employment surge appears to have peaked, as job growth across Utah dipped from 4.2% in July to 3.8% in August.
Knold said the lower growth rate parallels a similar trend nationwide due to economic uncertainty surrounding a resurgence of COVID-19.
“It is still robust but pulling back a bit,” he said. “The economic slowing, however, should not develop into an economy breaker.”
Due to the extreme fluctuations in the job market after the pandemic hit last year, the state has been calculating monthly job growth rates this year compared with the same points in 2019. Since August 2109, Knold said the state has added 55,700 jobs, with private-sector employment leading the way at a strong growth rate of 4.7%.
Industries that have been on the leading edge of the strong growth numbers include professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; construction; and manufacturing. Sectors that have seen overall job numbers go down include leisure and hospitality; natural resources and mining; information; and a category simply known as “other services.”
Box Elder County continues to have one of the state’s lowest county unemployment rates, due largely to strong growth in the construction and trade, transportation and utility industries. Davis, Millard and Rich counties also recorded a 2.3% jobless rate last month, with only Utah County (2.2%) and Cache, Juab and Morgan counties (1.9%) coming in with lower rates for August.