Utah job growth leads the nation in new economic dashboard release

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

“Our continued productivity and economic expansion during the pandemic with unemployment among the lowest in the nation is remarkable,” says Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “This dashboard shows we are on the right path from shock, to recovery, and now into a growing economy across several industries. Challenges remain for our hospitality and service sectors, but the broad nature of this recovery gives confidence that these parts of the economy will return. Utah continues to be a shining star of business and community leadership in overcoming the pandemic and its challenges.”

While consumer confidence took a small dip, this was expected with the uptick in delta variant coronavirus cases. The lingering challenges temper progress, but broad labor participation coupled with job growth forecasts continued strength on our road back to inclusive prosperity. Utah continues to be the gold standard when it comes to collaboration, resilience, and broad industry sector strength.

Three essential insights from the November 2021 Roadmap to Prosperity Dashboard include:

  1. Utah’s two-year job growth is highest in the nation. Utah’s September two-year job growth of 3.4% is the highest in the nation and one of only three states showing positive job change. 
  2. Utah’s unemployment rate drops below pre-pandemic levels. Utah’s September unemployment rate of 2.4% is lower than the February 2019 rate of 2.5%. Utah’s unemployment rate ranks second in the nation.
  3. Job change is uneven across industries. While Utah has seen two-year job growth overall, not all industries have expanded. Jobs have declined in the Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, Government, and Natural Resources industries.

The Dashboard is updated monthly, providing essential insights, tracking 10 timely and leading measures, and sharing pertinent indicators since the start of the pandemic. This provides leaders with critical and timely information to make informed decisions.

“This report highlights the strength of Utah’s economic fundamentals across several indicators heading into the fourth quarter,” says Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “We still see a lag in leisure and hospitality, government, natural resources, and some services, but the strength of other indicators can be expected to bring these sectors along. With labor force participation growing and consumer confidence rebounding as shoppers head into retail season, our economy is on the right path and accelerating into year-end.” 

The Roadmap to Prosperity 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, Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, Deseret Management Corporation, Intermountain Healthcare, Staker Parson Materials & Construction, and Rio Tinto Kennecott.

To view the Roadmap to Prosperity Dashboard, click here.