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Utah's poor unemployment rate still lower than national average

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Dec. 3, 2010 at 6:28 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY - The national unemployment rate hit a seven-month high at nearly 10 percent. Utah's rate isn't as severe, but there are still plenty of people in this state who describe their money problems as 'scary'.

Utah's unemployment rate is sitting at 7.6 percent. Better than the national average, but that still means more than 102,000 people are out of a job.

Across the nation, earlier optimistic expectations of 150,000 new jobs in October were crushed. Instead, there were only 39,000 new jobs nationwide.

Economists say the numbers reflect a slow recovery.

Unemployed restaurant worker Heather Peters is feeling the effect. "If anything were to happen, I mean we're one illness away from basically losing it all," she said.

"Anyone I know could lose everything," added Peters. "They have in a matter of months."

It is still doubtful that Congress will extend unemployment benefits this year. That will affect more than 27,000 Utahns.

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E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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