Summit County unemployment rate drops sharply again, but is still worst in Utah
The unemployment rate in Summit County in June dropped sharply but remained the highest in the state for a second consecutive month, illustrating a recovering economy from the shutdown in the spring forced by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The state Department of Workforce Services reported the June unemployment rate in Summit County was 9.5%, significantly down from a slightly upwardly revised 17% in May. It was the second straight month of significant improvement after the rate hit a stunning 20.4% in April.
The 9.5% rate in June in Summit County was slightly higher than the 9.4% in San Juan County.
The unemployment rate in Wasatch County in June dropped to 8% from 14.2% the previous month. The rate in Wasatch County is notable in Park City and surrounding Summit County since the Park City sphere of economic influence reaches into Wasatch County.
The 9.5% rate in Summit County in June indicates the economic recovery is continuing, but it remains well above figures dating to the 1990s. The rate was 2.5% in June of 2019. The rate reached as high as 7.7% in 2010, as the impacts of the recession from 2007 until 2009 continued, prior to the dramatic rise in April of this year.
It is unclear whether there will be continued improvement at the pace of the May and June gains during the rest of the summer as business is believed to be mixed in the Park City area. Improvement later in the year, meanwhile, will likely depend on the ski industry’s plans for the upcoming season, the first that will be conducted in a socially distanced manner. The ski industry’s plans will influence hiring levels across a range of industries as restaurants, lodging properties and other businesses prepare for the winter.
A state economist early in the summer predicted improvements through 2020 with the April numbers being the bottom unless the coronavirus reemerges at a significant level.
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Nearly 80% of Summit County residents have received a vaccine. Reaching the other 20% is the next challenge for health officials.
Summit County is planning to shut down its drive-thru mass vaccine clinic in May as the vaccination campaign is months ahead of schedule.