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SALT LAKE CITY -- When unemployment is high, people with more work experience and education take many of what are normally entry-level jobs. But Department of Workforce Services Economist Lecia Langston says we may have hit the bottom of the job loss drop.
"September was the first month since we started losing jobs where the job losses got smaller instead of getting bigger," she says.
Langston says comparing a month's job numbers from one year to the next is a good way to figure out when a recession is truly over. She stopped short of saying the number of jobs in Utah is on the rise, but she's expecting growth in 2010.
"It certainly looks like we have bottomed out in terms of the contraction," she says. "It doesn't mean we're growing again, but it means that we can certainly set the stage for growth."
Employment officials say another good barometer of how the future job market will be is to look at the activity within temporary staffing agencies. When companies start to lose or gain jobs, they'll call an agency to fill temporary spots. Kelly Services Territory Manager Neal Summers says the companies they spoke with when the job market was declining seem to be much more positive now.
"They say, ‘Yeah, things are looking good. We think we're going to have more increases coming up in the next few months,'" he says.
He also says these potential increases seem comparable for most industries across the board.
"We see it with production assembly. We've seen an increase in our clerical business. In our call center business, it's starting to come back. In our more professional and technical divisions, we're starting to see a slight increase in those, also," he says.
However, Summers says employers are pickier for the time being while some very qualified candidates are in the market pool. In some cases, they'll ask for a resume to fill an entry-level position, which Summers says they haven't asked for in the past.