The employment boom in the West isn’t confined to energy-rich North Dakota.
Utah has emerged this year as a job creation leader, according to Labor Departmentdata released Monday. The state’s July unemployment rate of 3.6% ranks only behind North Dakota’s minuscule 2.8%. Utah payrolls have grown by 2.5% over the past six months, also second-best in the country.
But unlike North Dakota’s oil-fueled expansion, Utah’s economic resurgence reflects broad-based gains, said University of Utah economist Natalie Gochnour.
While energy is a growing field in the state, the tourism and technology sectors have been strong and financial services is expanding, she said. Salt Lake City has the highest number of Goldman SachsGS +1.54% employees in North America, after New York.
Utah was “hit harder during the downturn, but it’s recovered more quickly the rest of the country,” Ms. Gochnour said. She also serves a chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber.