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Utah Business

Here’s how young professionals in their 20s-30s are impacting our economy.

Young professionals drive business In Utah like never before

As the current President of Young Professionals Salt Lake City, and a transplant from the East Coast, it has been a pleasure to be among a growing number of young professionals in their 20s and 30s who decided to relocate here for work or chose to stay here after college.

Young professionals represent a positive influence in our state. We vote, we buy homes, we
volunteer in our local communities, we spend our dollars here, we run for political offices, we
build businesses here, and we join commissions and boards. In short, we are both
consumers and drivers of our state’s local businesses.

Roughly one in four Utahns is a millennial and we have the third-largest population of
millennials in the country at 23.6 percent. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute recently did a study that discovered young adults ages 20-34 are among the largest demographic migrating to Utah.

We are coming here for jobs, and staying here because we enjoy the quality of life. As the
economy responds to our growth, young professionals―who once daydreamed about leaving
the state right after college―are now happy to call Utah their forever home. The cycle continues as more and more organizations decide to expand to Utah because of our young and
educated workforce.

Head downtown on a Friday night and you will see 20 and 30-somethings enjoying a growing number of restaurants and bars. Our desires for new experiences contribute to driving new businesses downtown and the further development of entertainment districts across the Wasatch Front. Think back on what our state used to be like 10 years ago. The number and variety of options that now exist for dining, entertainment, and socializing barely existed back then.

Young people with disposable incomes have always been key patrons of those venues, and local businesses are expanding to meet the needs and wants of this growing demographic.

No discussion of the impact of the young professionals in Utah could be complete without
acknowledging our contributions as business-creators. We open restaurants, cafes, and boutique stores. The draw of being an independent business owner is alive and well within our generation.

Utah’s natural beauty and diverse economy draw in young, career-minded individuals who are making their voices heard throughout the state. Utah has been “discovered” as the place for opportunity and lifestyle, and the young professional community is enthusiastic about making the most of everything the state has to offer.

If Utah was once perceived as being closed off to outsiders, it is now a desirable community that welcomes transplants and promotes engagement. Continued growth and development in Utah are sure to bring more change and more opportunity to the state, and perhaps none shall be so well-positioned to facilitate and shape it as our young professional community, especially as we grow to be the leaders of the future ourselves.

As we move forward, we will continue to play a pronounced role in the growth of the state’s economy―a benefit for the future of us all.

Young Professionals Salt Lake City has been proud to play a role in attracting and retaining
young professionals to our great state. We strive to connect young professionals with each
other and the community while portraying Utah as a desirable place to live, work and play.
Each year it gets a bit easier as our state has embraced the opportunity to grow. Learn more about our organization at