U.S. Markets closed

Utah jobless rate at 5.2 percent in December

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's unemployment inched up slightly to 5.2 percent in December, even though job numbers are up year-over-year.

The state Department of Workforce Services reports Friday that the December job count was nearly 1.3 million. That's up about 2.9 percent — or 36,000 jobs — from the same time a year ago.

December's unemployment rate is up from 5.1 percent in November. It's still significantly lower than the national rate of 7.8 percent.

Industries leading job growth include professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Analysts say more wintery conditions this year may be boosting the ski industry.

State officials say the jobless rate had been declining from its peak in 2009 due to people leaving the workforce, but say it now appears people are now re-entering the job market.