Utah’s unemployment rate is at 2.8%, the same as before the pandemic started. Despite the low rate, employers are struggling to fill vacant positions, especially in areas like restaurants and retail. Mark Knold, chief economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics surveyed over 60,000 households each month and found four probable causes for the labor shortage. “The first one is fearful workers,” Knold said. “Nearly 4 million people in this survey say that they are not looking for work because of the pandemic.