Utah’s Growing Economy

Utah’s economic performance is one of the strongest in the nation, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. In 2013 and 2014, Utah was announced to be in the top 6 in each of the five policy categories and 3rd in overall economic performance. It is the only state to finish in the top 10 on all six lists from the U.S. Census Bureau.

But why is Utah growing at an unprecedented rate? While other states struggle to keep up with the economy, Utah is flourishing, with many well-known companies and startups alike flocking to Utah’s Silicon Slopes to run their business.

In fact, one of Utah’s biggest problems isn’t unemployment rates, as Utah consistently has some of the better unemployment rates in the nation – it’s a lack of workers. The New York Times published an article in May of 2017 about Utah’s lack of workers, and it’s ability to consistently bring in workers from all over the nation. Qualtrics, a company started in Utah 2002, now employs over 1,300 people and is continually hiring recent grads from Utah and all over the nation, bringing new employees to the Provo area every year. The company is one of the biggest names in Utah’s Silicon Slopes, leading the way in management software, and now has a second headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Some other growing companies in the same area include Adobe, SanDisk, EA Sports, Instructure, and Vivint, to name a few. Utah gained its foot in the door in the world of growing technology back in the 80’s when WordPerfect and Novell started in the state. Being in the center of multiple universities and a growing population, the Silicon Slopes were a perfect storm for Utah to take over as one of the technology capitals of the nation.

Salt Lake City, UT

One of the most important factors to consider is not only Utah’s high birth rate, but high rates of people migrating to the state due to affordable living costs, safe communities, and a clean environment. While many are migrating to Utah for these reasons, many younger people are settling down in Utah for these growing companies that need an influx of workers. From July 2015-July 2016, Utah had the fastest population growth rate at 2.03 percent, leading the way for other states in the west. Following these growth rates were Nevada, Idaho, Florida, and Washington. Some states that are actually experiencing a negative growth rate include New York, Illinois, West Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. People are moving west, and new opportunities are acting as a magnet to the Sun Belt.

While Northern Utah has been experiencing huge booms of population and economic growth, Washington County is expected to have the highest population growth rate in the future. According to the Daily Herald, Washington County is expected to have a 229% growth rate in the next 50 years. After a lull in the economy in Washington County following the last recession, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Washington County is seeing a large influx of retirees due to St. George being a popular place to retire.