The Utah Department of Workforce Services has just released county-level unemployment rate estimates for December. Most counties are following the statewide trend of declining joblessness. Between December 2010 and December 2011, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate decreased by 1.5 percentage points. Eight counties–Juab, Beaver, Duchesne, Uintah, Daggett, Box Elder, Wasatch, and Sanpete–experienced rate declines of 2.0 points or better. Only two counties showed increasing levels of unemployment–Wayne and Garfield counties. Wayne County’s current unemployment woes can be traced primarily to the closure of the county’s largest employer–Aspen Education Group.
Currently, the areas with the highest jobless rates include San Juan, Wayne, Garfield, Grand, and Washington counties–all located in the southern part of the state. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates include Unitah, Cache, Daggett, Millard, and Rich counties–nearly all of which are located either in the Uintah Basin or in the northern part of the state. As you can see from the map, with a few exceptions this geographic unemployment divide holds true.
You can download the December rates from the graphic or access them in pdf format by clicking here.