Workforce Services Appoints New Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Director

The Department of Workforce Services’ Utah State Office of Rehabilitation has selected Arlene Garcia Gunderson as the new director of the Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Gunderson will be responsible for the oversight and administration of programs assisting Utah’s Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing communities and their families.

Gunderson most recently worked as an American Sign Language assistant professor, as well as a consultant and project lead for the first mobile, on-demand and live interactive video chat tutoring, education and practice platform for the Deaf in both K-12 and college-level subjects.  In addition, Gunderson led a development team in creating free, online courses for Deaf adults in Ontario, Canada. Gunderson also served as the first director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center – Southwest in Austin, Texas, when it opened in 2011. Throughout her career, Gunderson has worked in a variety of roles, including Deaf services coordinator, high school social studies teacher, K-12 school for the Deaf principal, ASL lead and co-director of an ASL-interpreter preparation program. More...

Helping Teens is Big Business in Washington County

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Make no mistake, adolescence is a war. No one gets out unscathed.” Harlan Coben

When I first moved to southern Utah nearly 23 years ago, I immediately noticed a flourishing industry in residential teen treatment centers. However, collecting data about these businesses is not easy. Why? Typically, economists use the federally sanctioned coding structures to easily track industry-level employment statistics. But, coding structures don’t necessarily group all these businesses under one code; plus, their assigned codes also include many other employers, which don’t necessarily serve a teen cliental. The labor-intensive task of collecting information on these businesses required individually examining a large database of employers to extract information. Here are the results. More...

Utah's Employment Summary: October 2019

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for October 2019 grew by an estimated 3.3%, adding 51,200 jobs to the economy since October 2018. Utah’s current employment level registers 1,593,200. September’s year-over job growth is unrevised at 3.0%.

October’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate lowered two-tenths of a percentage point to 2.5%. Approximately 41,000 Utahns were unemployed and actively seeking work during October. The national unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.6%. More...