SALT LAKE CITY – The global pandemic caused a huge increase in the unemployment rate in Utah. In February, the unemployment rate sat at 2.5%. In April, that number jumped to 9.7%.
However, there is some good news on the horizon.
The unemployment rate in Utah is one of the lowest in the country.
During KSL NewsRadio’s Coronavirus Call-In program, the Unemployment Insurance Division Director for the Department of Workforce Services, Kevin Burt, said they’re trying to process three years’ worth of unemployment filings. But the numbers are looking better.
“We see a lot more people falling off [unemployment] than refusals to work. The last data we reported, actually more people fell off than applied,” Burt said.
Additionally, unemployment filings decreased by about 10,000 within the last two weeks.
Of the 150,000 unemployment filings the state has received, 100,000 are “continuing” filings, which refers to those who were furloughed and/or have gone back to work in some capacity. The majority of Utahns who filed for unemployment were furloughed or had their hours reduced.
Burt encouraged employees who are healthy, at low risk of catching COVID-19, and can return to work safely, to do so.
Although Utah has seen very few instances where employees have stayed off the job because the unemployment benefits were better, Burt noted employers can report people to the state.
“If a person is not high-risk, the employer is following the guidelines, and that person refuses work, it will lead to a ‘quit’, which will make the person lose eligibility to unemployment,” Burt explained.
Burt said they do make exceptions for high-risk employees and encourage businesses to let those people stay home.
Today’s Top Stories
- Judge rules Chad Daybell should face trial in case of missing kids
- Fireworks and pets: keeping furry friends safe during firework season
- COVID-19 stimulus bill bringing billions to the state and Utahns
- Three people gored as running of the bulls ends in Pamplona
- Utah AG Reyes unable to vote as Elector, Love steps in
- Local health officials update COVID-19 numbers, discuss “vaccine hunters”
- Man who pleaded guilty to Mackenzie Lueck’s murder sentenced to life in prison
- Sen. Lee introduces bill that would limit some presidential powers, delegating them to Congress
- African Gray parrot still missing – Bluffdale owners offer reward
- JayMac’s opinion: The brat brawl between Pelosi and Trump. Who’s right? Both wrong.