BY TOM BUSSELBERG
BOUNTIFUL — There is an increasing number of jobs within Davis County, and that success is matched by a joblessness rate that is comfortably below the state average.
The Utah Dept. of Workforce Services reports that there were 109,743 people employed in Davis County last month. That reflects a job growth rate of 1.6 percent, measuring from October 2011 to October 2012.
Joblessness, meanwhile, stood at 5.4 percent in October. That compares to 5.8 percent for the state and 7.9 percent nationally.
“Davis County has been doing remarkably better than the country,” said Kent Sulser. He is the county’s Community & Economic Development director.
“The county continues to do better than the nation in terms of job retention and growth,” he said. “A lot of construction is occurring.”
Sulser mentioned the continuing expansion of Farmington Station, apartments going up at Eaglewood Village in North Salt Lake, and the beginnings of construction at Ninigret (Business) Park in Syracuse.
In addition, an office building should be going up soon in the IMAX Centerville area, while Management Training Corporation is planning to open its long-awaited second office building next spring in Centerville.
Officials also are hopeful another building will be under construction in Falcon Park in Clearfield come spring.
“A tenant is ready. They’re just working out the details,” he said.
“I’m optimistic,” Sulser said of the county’s ongoing jobs growth. “It will not be robust, but I think we can be guardedly optimistic.”
Residential construction permits also have generally seen an upswing across the county.
The average monthly wage, meanwhile, stood at $3,303 a month, or nearly $40,000 a year. Total payroll in 2011 topped $4 billion.
While Hill AFB is still far-and-away the county’s largest employer, the economy continues to diversify, DWS information noted.
It includes diverse industries led by manufacturing, trade, services and government. Everything from kayaks to basketball standards are produced here, and tortilla chips and much more are created in between.
Payroll gains have been aided by growth in the professional/business services and government sectors.
The list of Davis County’s largest employers demonstrates the economic variety. Hill AFB tops the list followed by the Davis School District, Walmart, Lifetime Products, Lagoon, Smith’s Food & Drug, ATK Space Systems/Alliant, Davis County government, Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company and Davis Hospital and Medical Center.
As for the metropolitan area including Davis County, a survey released by DWS Friday showed 24,000 job openings in the April-June quarter for the area.
Most of those openings were in sales and office occupations. There were also 1,752 jobs in construction and extraction, paying an average of $15.10 per hour.
There were more than 2,400 positions in health care and 582 jobs in computers and mathematics. The highest paying slots were in the management sector, paying an average hourly rate of nearly $36.
The lowest paid positions, meanwhile, were for cashiers and retail sales people, at an average of $7.50 an hour and $7.60 per hour, respectively.
The minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
For more information, visit jobs.utah.gov.