A potential revolutionary economic transformation is under way in America that could help Utah move more rapidly toward closing the employment gap, says Mark Knold, chief economist with the Department of Workforce Services.
That transformation is the shale gas boom that has emerged across the country during the past five years. Shale formations are giving America cheaper, abundant and comparatively clean energy. What this means is that America's industrial base could surge, particularly in industries that were fading -- namely, manufacturing.
This is good news for Utah, as 2012 had more new jobs than there were new workers for the first time since 2007. Thankfully, 2013 looks every bit as promising.
It is noteworthy that it will still take another five to eight years for Utah to employ the number of workers that would have been employed had we not gone through the recession. For many, this means a lingering competitive job market still exists, but jobs are available for those who know how to find them.
The housing market seems to be staging a comeback, as the future of residential construction jobs seems bright. While these jobs were the hardest hit during the recession, DWS is projecting an 11.3 percent increase because of a favorable housing market, low interest rates and an improving overall labor market in Utah.
Modest nonresidential construction job gains are also expected in 2013, and heavy/civil engineering construction should maintain current employment levels through the remainder of the year.
Leisure and hospitality jobs are also growing, although the Top of Utah region shows more moderate growth than does the Uintah Basin in particular and the state's southern region.
In 2013, the financial activities industry -- including banks, credit unions and other financing businesses, along with real estate agents, brokers and related activities -- is expected to increase about 2.2 percent above 2012, according to DWS reports.
Total 2012 financial activities employment will likely average about 71,000, with the largest increases occurring within securities/trusts/other finance and in real estate.
Manufacturing experienced large job losses during the recession, but employment in this sector of the economy in Utah expanded in 2012 and will continue to grow through the remainder of this year.
While it appears the recession is fully behind us, we still have a way to go to bring our economy back to where it would have been without that recession.
However strong the economy grows in Utah, finding a job still requires taking charge of your job search, finding employers that hire your skills and getting those employers to know you.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and search industry. Reach him at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.