Utah's unemployment rate dropped to 2.4% in September (on a seasonally adjusted basis), with slightly over 40,000 Utahns currently unemployed.

That's the headline from Utah's Department of Workforce Services in its monthly employment report issued yesterday.

By comparison,Utah's unemployment rate was 2.5% in August; so yes, the rate dropped one-tenth of one percent month-over-month.

Conversely, the average unemployment rate in September was 4.8% across the United States.

According to the Utah DFW, over 1.625 million Utahns are currently employed, which is a higher employment total for the state before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What Do the Numbers Mean?

To mix metaphors, the upshot of this latest news is that Utah's employment pool continues to be underwater, meaning that there are more job openings in the state than prospective employees to fill them.

How much so?

Economists disagree on the actual "full-employment unemployment rate," suggesting a range of between 4% to 6.4% equalling Full Employment.

Personally, I like the round number of 5% unemployment as the benchmark figure that signifies that every adult who wants a job and is actually able to perform the job (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) is employed. That to me is Full Employment.

Ergo, anything less than Full Employment means that employers need to

  1. Recruit new employees from outside the state;
  2. Wait for the next crop of prospective employees to become available (due to graduation from school, entering or re-entering the workforce, etc.); or
  3. Steal employees from other organizations in the state.

Bottom line? Having a booming economy is often a double-edged sword, especially if

  • You can't find new employees to fill open positions, or if you
  • Have to increase wages and benefits to recruit new employees, or
  • Keep the employees you already have.

A month from now we'll check back with the DFW to see how state employment numbers are faring. My guess is we're near the bottom, unemployment-rate-wise. But we shall see.


One More Thing  

If you were unable to attend the 2021 edition of Silicon Slopes Summit last week, you may have missed the fact that Silicon Slopes beta-launched a Jobs Board last week.

This Jobs Board is free for anyone looking for new opportunities, and open for use by any organization, with our sponsors getting better pricing for their job postings than our stated retail rates.

Anyway ... it might be worth checking out.

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