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Business community releases dashboard to check economic COVID recovery

Salt Lake City— The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Recovery Coalition, in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, has updated the Economic Dashboard for January to help business leaders know where Utah sits in the overall recovery. This tool tracks the state’s path to a full and complete economic recovery from the pandemic recession and provides context to decision-makers. 

“The new year brings new opportunities for us to refresh our thinking, especially around this persistent challenge of the coronavirus,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “This dashboard will assist leaders across the state make planning decisions and help set proper expectations on where we stand in our economic progression. The goal is to help leaders see the progress made and that light is on the horizon with vaccine rollout beginning. The Chamber encourages employers and employees to receive the vaccine who can so our lives and livelihoods can return to a better normal. This year will be pivotal in building and scaling out our state, to increase our abilities and accomplish great things.”

Three essential insights from the January 2021 Roadmap to Recovery Dashboard include:

  1. Taxable retail sales see year-over growth. Despite the impacts of the pandemic, taxable retail sales have grown year-over. September 2020 saw $3.5 million in taxable retail sales compared to $2.8 million in September 2019. 
  2. Utah’s unemployment claims rise slightly. Continued unemployment claims have steadily fallen since May. Toward the end of November, claims rose slightly in the wake of a surge in coronavirus cases.
  3. Utah’s job change ranks second in the nation. November year-over job change shows job losses in every state. Utah’s job change of -0.2% ranks second in the nation with unemployment change nearing neutral.

The Dashboard is updated consistently, providing essential insights, tracking 10 timely and leading measures, and sharing pertinent indicators since the start of the pandemic. This will give leaders the backdrop for them to make informed decisions. 

“We are starting to see a clear path to a full economic recovery,” said Natalie Gochnour, director of the Gardner Institute. “The road to recovery will not be easy because of the economic damage created by the pandemic, but we are finally on our way.”

As vaccine distribution continues to be a focal point for state and local governments, we will begin to share its progress in this Roadmap going forward. 

The Roadmap to Recovery Coalition is a business-led coalition, supported by the Salt Lake Chamber, focused on implementing and promoting our economic recovery. The Coalition is co-chaired by Mikelle Moore, SVP and Chief Community Health Officer, Intermountain Healthcare, and Scott Parson, CEO, Staker Parson Materials & Construction. Investors of the Coalition include Mountain America Credit Union, WCF Insurance, Deseret Management Corporation, Intermountain Healthcare, Staker Parson Materials & Construction, and Rio Tinto Kennecott.

To view the Roadmap to Recovery Dashboard, visit slchamber.com/roadmap-dashboard.