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Report Shows Promise in 2011

Commerce Real Estate Solutions released its November 2010 issue of Utah’s Economy this week.

The issue sites promising figures for the future of Utah’s economy, mainly in the construction and real estate industries.

Over the last six months, job growth has risen between one and two percent, however, job growth is expected to rise even further in 2011. Another promising figure is six counties are reporting year-over job growth, among which are Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties.

According to the issue, the Professionals and Business Services employment sector is projected to increase jobs by 6,800 in 2011, with health services coming in second with 5,000 additional jobs.

For 2011, Utah’s unemployment rate is scheduled to drop to 7.1 percent. Historically, the Beehive State has experienced a 5 percent average of unemployment between 1950 and 2008.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services is forecasting every employment sector to grow in 2011, with the exception of mining. Construction and manufacturing are among four employment sectors to experience above average growth in the new year.

During the housing boom, construction employment grew from 70,000 to 103,500 by 2008. The economic downturn has caused construction employment to drop back to pre-expansion levels, with employment in 2010 bottoming out at 64,000 but gaining 1,800 jobs in 2011.

The report cited the $1.6 billion National Security Administration (NSA) project near Camp Williams in Utah County to be a key factor in anticipated job growth for the construction industry. The project is said to be the largest building project in Utah’s history.

Other figures from the report:

-The unsold inventory of new homes is at very low levels, a good sign for homebuilders.

-The number of mortgage loans in foreclosure appears to have peaked at 14,900 in the first quarter of 2010. Over the past two quarters, the number of foreclosures statewide has fallen to 13,800

-Pent-up demand for housing is increasing and will support a housing recovery