Strong job growth yields opportunity to invest in education

SALT LAKE CITY – (March 4, 2015) Utah’s total employment grew at a year-over pace of 4.1 percent in January, while private sector job growth increased by 4.7 percent, according to new data released today. Utah’s strong economy positions the state to invest in long-term priorities including education.

“Utah’s labor market is expanding at the healthiest rate since the Great Recession,” said Gov Gary R. Herbert. “Now is the time to invest in our students’ future. This year’s budget proposal allocates the largest true investment in education in 25 years. We should position local school leaders to prioritize their expenditures based on local needs, and we should provide flexible resources and a robust accountability system. Such a strategy will provide the greatest impact to serve the diverse needs of our students.”

January’s year-over job growth occurred across nine of ten private sector industries, with only natural resources and mining remaining unchanged. Substantial job growth was reported in a broad spectrum of industries including health services, retail trade, professional & technical services, and finance and insurance, many of which draw heavily on high-skilled labor.

Utah’s unemployment fell to 3.4 percent in January. The unemployment decline was accompanied by an increase in the labor force with more Utahns entering the workforce and securing employment.