In an unexpected twist, Utah's unemployment rate for December 2021 dropped to an all-time low of 1.9%, two-tenths-of-a-percent lower than the 2.1% rate recorded in November.

This data from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, showed that there were 1,646,900 Utahns employed at the end of December.

Concurrently, the DWS shared that the overall employment rate of the United States has now dropped to 3.9%, meaning that Utah comes in at less than half of the national average.

As noted in our October 2021 write-up on Utah's September 2021 unemployment figures, economists disagree on the definition of what a Full-Employment Unemployment Rate actually means, with most suggesting that

A range of between 4% to 6.4% unemployment equals Full Employment.

Personally, I like the 5% Unemployment Rate as a foundational percentage point that equals Full Employment.

{NOTE:  In simplest terms, Full Employment means everyone capable of working who wants a job has a full-time job.}

Hence, at 1.9%, Utah currently sits a staggering 60% under that mythical 5% Full Employment rate.

State of Utah December 2021 labor statistics from the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Infographic downloaded 25 January 2022.

According to Mark Knold, Chief Economist for DWS,

“As Utah’s economy progressed through 2021, the most striking theme was dwindling labor availability. Each month the unemployment rate moved lower and lower, finally sinking last month into historic territory. The state’s unemployment rate is now below 2.0% for the first time ever. This is uncharted territory in terms of such a low unemployment rate and gauging how much lower it can conceivably go.”  {Emphasis added}

Uncharted territory, indeed.

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