Utah's Employment Summary: May 2020

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for May 2020 contracted by an estimated 4.8%, with 75,400 jobs sidelined compared to the May 2019 employment. Most job reductions remain as furloughs and are considered temporary in nature. Utah’s current employment level registers 1,485,800. Utah’s April year-over job change has been revised down two-tenths of a percentage point to -7.3%.

May’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 8.5%. Approximately 137,200 Utahns were unemployed during May. Utah’s April unemployment rate has been revised upward from its initial 9.7% to 10.4%. The national unemployment rate for May lowered to 13.3%.

“May’s employment improvement marks April as the low point in the COVID-19 economic setback,” reported Mark Knold, Chief Economist at the Department of Workforce Services. “We expect May to be the largest single month for job improvement with the initial return to work for many employees as consumer activity greatly increased. With the May job improvement, nearly one-quarter of Utah’s COVID-idled workers have returned to work.”

Utah’s private sector employment contraction eased in May, with a year-over setback nearly halved to -4.6%.

Two of 10 private-sector major industry groups measured in the establishment survey posted net job gains in May:

  • Construction (8,000 jobs)
  • Financial Activities (500 jobs)

The remaining eight industry groups posted employment declines. These were most impactful in:

  • Leisure and Hospitality Services (-42,100 jobs)
  • Professional and Business Services (-7,800 jobs)
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-7,200)

Listen to Chief Economist Mark Knold break down the May 2020 employment report:

For more information visit our Labor Market Employment Update web pages.

SALT LAKE CITY (June 19, 2020) — Following the release of the May 2020 employment numbers for the state of Utah, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows Utah is ranked No. 1 for total job growth in the U.S. at -4.8%. In addition, Utah is ranked No. 1 for private sector job growth at -4.6%. For unemployment, Utah is ranked No. 2 at 8.5%.

BLS data shows Utah rankings as follows:


(1)  Utah:  -4.8%

(2)  Arizona:  -5.6%

(3)  Idaho:  -6.0%


(1)  Utah:  -4.6%

(2)  Idaho:  -6.1%

(3)  Arizona:  -6.2%


(1)  Nebraska:  5.2%

(2)  Utah:  8.5%

(3)  Wyoming:  8.8%

(4)  Arizona:  8.9%

(4)  District of Columbia:  8.9%

(4)  Idaho:  8.9%

(7)  Montana:  9.0%

(8)  North Dakota:  9.1%

(9)  New Mexico:  9.2%

(10)  Maine:  9.3%

*Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.toc.htm