OGDEN — Employment over the last year in and around Weber and Davis counties grew faster than most anywhere else in the country, according to new federal data.
Driving the jump in the Northern Utah region were new jobs in three sectors in particular — education and health services, leisure and hospitality and mining, logging and construction.
According to new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, non-farm payroll employment increased by 4.6% in the Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area between August 2018 and August 2019. That reflects a jump in the number of those employed to 273,900 up 12,100 from 261,800.
The rate of growth in Northern Utah outpaced the regions of the rest of the state and trailed only Ocean City, New Jersey, and Reno, Nevada, which registered jumps of 7% and 5.5%, respectively. Notably, only 52 metropolitan areas across the country registered increases in employment while 337 were largely unchanged. The Ogden-Clearfield metro area covers Weber, Davis, Morgan and Box Elder counties.
Unemployment, meantime, measured 2.8% as of August in the Ogden-Clearfield area, same as the statewide rate and lower than the national jobless rate, 3.8%.
The sectors in the Ogden-Clearfield area that registered the highest rates of job growth in the year ending last August were:
Education and health services, with job growth measuring 8.6%, pushing the number employed in the sector to 36,800;
Leisure and hospitality, up 8.3% to 28,600;
Mining, logging and construction, up 8.3% to 22,200; and
Professional and business services, up 6.2% to 32,700.
The government sector accounted for the largest single pool of workers in the Ogden-Clearfield area as of August 2019, 50,700, with jobs growth in the last year of 2.2%. Hill Air Force Base is in the area while the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a large labor pool in the area as well.
Elsewhere in Utah, jobs growth in the year ending 2019 measured:
4.1% in the St. George metropolitan area, which includes Washington County, up 2,800 to 71,700;
3.7% in the Logan metropolitan area, which covers Cache County and Franklin County, Idaho, up 2,200 to 62,200;
2.9% in the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, which includes Utah and Juab counties, up 7,600 to 268,200.
2% in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which includes Salt Lake and Tooele counties, up 14,900 to 750,900.
Jobs growth across Utah totaled 3%, bringing the number of those employed to 1,562,500, up 45,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, released Wednesday.
Leaders in Weber and Davis counties earlier this year formalized an agreement to jointly pursue economic development initiatives in the two-county area, aiming to bring in new employers and encourage existing ones to expand.