Logan's Unemployment Rate Among Lowest in Nation

Logan's Unemployment Rate Among Lowest in Nation

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Northern Utah has the third-lowest jobless rate in the country, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report.

Cache County's unemployment rate of 2 percent is just below the statewide rate of 2.5 percent.

Ted Nyman of the Utah Department of Workforce Services said the jobless rate in the Logan metropolitan area is creating a shortage of labor.

"It's definitely a job seeker's market right now," Nyman said. "The majority of the workforce that wants to work is working, and we're below the full employment level."

Many employers, especially in the construction, manufacturing and service industries, are looking for employees right now.

The job openings are a sign of a healthy economy, but they aren't great for employers like Ryan Leishman, a manager at a Tremonton-based construction company.

He said he's able to fill job openings in Ogden much faster than in Logan and at a lower pay rate.

"It's hard to be competitive in this valley, being a college town," Leishman said. "It seems that the labor rate has gone up."

In Ogden, Leishman has little problem hiring construction workers for $8 an hour. "Here, I struggle to find $10 and $12 an hour workers," he said. "It's just something that we've experienced."

In Cache Valley, Leishman said, some prospective employees say they're looking for anywhere from $15 to $22 an hour for construction work.

Although there are many job openings, Nyman said the region hitting its lowest jobless rate in history isn't a crisis.

"Obviously if your job growth and your work opportunities increase faster than your population and your labor force, there's going to be a natural consequence to that," Nyman said. "It's not a phenomenon that's unique to Cache County."


Information from: The Herald Journal, http://www.hjnews.com

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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