Utah's unemployment rate drops to five year low

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The unemployment rate in Utah was already one of the lowest in the country and now it has hit a five year low.

Enough for Governor Gary Herbert to declare we are back from the great recession as he stood side by side with leaders from Utah’s business community Friday.

"This is a really good day," said Herbert.

That's because Utah’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% in January, 2014.

The last time it was below 4% was November, 2008.

The job growth rate is 2.8%, an increase of 34,700 jobs over the past 12 months.

"100,000 jobs in a thousand days is literally coming to pass before our eyes, we are on track to make that," said Herbert.

The Governor credits the success to a friendly business environment and a talented labor force.

Business owners say investing in areas that provide the greatest return also played a key role in the recovery.

"Things like education, transportation, international business, energy, keeping business costs low, statewide corporate recruitment," said President and CEO of Staker Parson, Scott Parson.

It's not all smiles though, even with one of the lowest rates in the nation there are still Utahns who can't find work.

"I'm concerned about those that are still unemployed and I won't rest, I won't be happy until anybody who wants a job can have a job," said Herbert.

The Governor also believes the state can do better at aligning individual skills with the demands of the market.

That's where STEM Education comes in, putting a focus on science, technology, engineering and math in Utah schools.

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