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Expert says employment outlook for 2012 graduates good


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SALT LAKE CITY -- As commencements wrap up early next month, thousands of freshly graduated college students will be on the lookout for jobs.

But what does the employment climate they are entering look like?

"It's kind of hard because a lot of people are going to go for the same jobs," said U. of U. senior Tiffany Bell.

"It's really about the best time to be coming out of college in about the last three years," said Jeff Thredgold, chief economist for Zions Bank. "Utah is doing much better than the nation. We are doing better than our neighbors."

In the last 12 months, Utah has seen a net increase of 30 thousand jobs. Among those are 4,000 in education and health services, another 4,000 in manufacturing and 3,000 in the construction sector.

"We're not firing on all cylinders yet, but it's a lot better than it was 3 years ago," Thredgold said.

Still, Utah is second in the nation when it comes to employment percentage growth. In March, Utah's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent - much better than the 8 percent unemployment rate in 2010.

Thredgold offers a bit of advice for students and others looking for a comfortable job.

"The more education you get in the more different areas over your life, the better off you'll be, and the more money you'll make," he said. "It's just that simple."

Email:akewish@ksl.com

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Ashley Kewish

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