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Local Labor Market Continues Slow Growth

Published on April 19, 2013 at 11:07AM

Central Utah’s rural counties have continued to see slow economic growth. In a report released Wednesday by the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Sevier County’s employment grew by only 0.4% between December 2011 and December 2012, a net gain of only 34 new jobs. Notable declines in mining and transportation employment are said to have hurt job growth in the county. Despite Sevier’s less-than-stellar job-creation performance, unemployment rates continue to trend down. In February 2012, the county‚Äôs jobless rate registered 6.1 percent, down from 6.5 percent in February 2011 but higher than the average statewide rate of 5.2%. Sanpete County saw much better economic improvement, posting nearly 200 new jobs, mainly in manufacturing, a growth rate of 2.8%. The unemployment rate in Sanpete still remains above average at 7.1%. Wayne County has an unemployment rate of 13.1%, one of the highest in the state after it’s largest employer, Aspen Health, closed it’s doors. However, the county did see a 4% improvement in hiring in 2012.