Park City-area unemployment rates continue to drop, highlighting summertime economic gains |

Park City-area unemployment rates continue to drop, highlighting summertime economic gains

The Park Record.

The unemployment rate in Summit County continued to drop in July and the county no longer had one of the highest rates in the state, reflecting the solid summertime business in the Park City area after the shutdowns of the spring.

The state Department of Workforce Services reported the unemployment rate in Summit County in July was 7.5%, falling from the 9.8% in June. It was another significant reduction on a month-over-month basis, following earlier gains after the employment numbers cratered in April. The unemployment rate in April was a staggering 20.4%.

The unemployment rate, though, remains elevated from the same month last year. The rate in July of 2019 was 2.4%.

The Park City area has enjoyed a solid summer for business as people who live locally ventured out after the spring shutdowns forced an early end to the ski season amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. There has also been an uptick of visitors from the Salt Lake Valley, elsewhere in Utah and from outside the state. The increase in visitor numbers influenced businesses to start to rehire workers as places reopened or extended hours.

The unemployment rate in Wasatch County in July dropped to 7.1% from 8.3% the month before. The rate in Wasatch County is noteworthy since the Park City sphere of economic influence extends into that county.

It seems the continued improvement of the unemployment rate in the Park City area will largely depend on the ski season. Seasonal hiring for the winter usually happens in the fall, as the mountain resorts and other sectors like the lodging and the restaurant industries prepare for the ski season.

There are numerous unknowns, though, regarding the ski season, including the state of the spread of the illness at that time and the state of the economy. It has appeared for several months that ski season hiring will not return to a normal level for the 2020-2021 winter.

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