SALT LAKE CITY — During his State of the State address in January 2012, Gov. Gary Herbert set a goal of achieving job growth in Utah of 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days.
At the time, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent. Fast-forward to August 2014, and the goal appears to have been met and then some.
Speaking in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Herbert announced that the state had added 112,200 new jobs during the 32 months since the goal was announced. When Herbert took office in 2009, the state’s jobless rate was 8.4 percent. By January 2012, the unemployment rate had dropped to 5.8 percent.
“Utah deserves a hearty congratulations. We have met yet another challenge,” Herbert said. “More importantly, that number represents 112,200 Utahns who now have work and can provide for themselves and their families and help boost our economy.”
Today, Utah’s unemployment rate registered at 3.6 percent, well below the national rate of 6.2 percent, the governor said. The state’s current job growth rate is also 3.6 percent — nearly double the national rate of 1.9 percent, he said.
The state also has the fourth-most diverse economy in the nation, with all sectors of the economy growing, Herbert added.
“There is a lot to be optimistic about (and) a lot to be grateful for in the successes in Utah these last thousand days,” he said.
Herbert noted that there are still people in the workforce who need to be retrained to develop the skills necessary to sustain a career in the current employment environment. To that end, the Utah Department of Workforce Services has programs to help potential applicants improve their skills and eventually find a job, he explained.
“We won’t rest until everybody who wants a job in Utah can find a job — a job that suits their aptitudes, their talents and where they can be productive members of our community,” Herbert said.