Utah’s unemployment rate dropped below four percent in February for the first time since 2008.
Governor Gary Herbert was beaming as he went before the TV cameras this morning to say Utah’s unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, compared to a national rate of 6.7 percent. The statewide rate of job growth is at 2.8 percent.
Herbert credited Utah’s business environment for the strong job picture, including low taxes and limited business regulation. Most of the job growth is in the urban counties of the Wasatch Front, and the governor admitted not every county in Utah is doing as well.
“While we’re having some great success in the Basin right now," Herbert told reporters, "other parts of Utah are having some challenges. So there are some uniquenesses that come with public lands. Y’know, it’s not all good, it’s not all bad. It just is. And sometimes we see that rural Utah is having a little more of a challenge.”
Unemployment is highest in counties that depend on seasonal tourist business. County-by-county numbers for February won’t be available until next week. But in January, the rate in Grand County was 6.9 percent and 8.8 percent in San Juan County. In Wayne County, with fewer than three thousand residents, unemployment was at 11.5 percent.