Tooele County’s unemployment rate has reached the lowest level in seven years, a state report says.
Unemployment in Tooele County continued a year-long decline and ended at 3.8 percent in December 2014, according to a report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
The unemployment rate has not been lower in Tooele County since November 2008 when the rate reached 3.6 percent.
The decline in unemployment comes despite a decline in jobs available in Tooele County.
“Once again we see that Tooele County workers found work in the greater Salt Lake area,” said Jim Robson, DWS regional economist.
The number of jobs available in Tooele County dropped from 15,167 in December 2013 to an estimated 14,873 in December 2014, a 1.9 percent decline.
Jobs in Salt Lake County grew from 642,250 to 658,085 during the same time period, a 2.5 percent increase.
The largest drop in employment in December 2014 for Tooele County was a decline of 250 jobs in the professional and technical services sector. This sector includes waste management jobs along with professional, scientific, and technical services, according to Robson.
Employment in the government sector in Tooele County was flat in December 2014 while the goods producing sector experienced a slight decline, according to Robson.
He is hopeful that Tooele County’s employment has stabilized following the county’s financial turmoil and the loss of jobs that resulted when Deseret Chemical Depot closed.
Tooele may see job growth as early as the end of the first quarter of 2015, Robson tentatively projected.
The state’s unemployment rate for December 2014 was 3.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.
The county in Utah with the highest unemployment rate in December 2014 was Wayne County at 8.4 percent. Rich County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.2 percent.
Tooele County started 2014 with a 5.0 percent unemployment rate. The average unemployment rate in Tooele County in 2014 was 4.4 percent. The average monthly unemployment rate for the last 25 years in Tooele County is 5.3 percent.