The unemployment rate for Tooele County continued a slow decline in July.
The Department of Workforce Services reported that the July 2014 unemployment rate for Tooele County was 4.4 percent compared to 4.5 percent in June 2014, leaving 1,347 residents out of work and looking for a job.
Tooele County’s unemployment rate started out 2014 at 5.0 percent. One year ago, in July 2013, the county’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.
“Tooele County’s employment picture remains essentially unchanged,” said James Robson, DWS regional economist. “The labor force in Tooele County is taking advantage of job growth along the Wasatch Front to find employment.”
While unemployment for the county is down, the number of jobs available in the county is also down.
Nonfarm employment in Tooele County declined in July 2014 by 254 jobs, or 1.7 percent, compared to July 2013.
In the same time period, jobs in Salt Lake County increased by 3.3 percent, in Utah County by 3.9 percent and in Davis County by 2.8 percent.
Job growth in Tooele County is being offset by the loss of jobs a year ago when Deseret Chemical Depot shutdown, the waste industry in Tooele County and Tooele County government laid off employees, and the federal government downsized, according to Robson.
The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits in Tooele County for 2014 is down from the previous year.
As of the week that ended Aug. 17, 2014, the four week moving average of new unemployment claims in Tooele County was 31 compared to 36 for the same week in 2013 and 47 in 2009.
“By the end of the year, hopefully, we will see some job growth in Tooele County,” Robson said.
The state and national unemployment rates also dropped one tenth of a percentage point in July 2014 compared to June 2013.
The state unemployment rate for July 2014 was 3.6 percent. The national unemployment rate for the same month was 6.2 percent.
Tooele County has the ninth highest unemployment rate for July 2014 among Utah’s 29 counties. The highest unemployment rate is in Wayne County at 9.7 percent. The lowest unemployment rate is in Rich County at 2.6 percent.