Utah’s economy ‘envy’ of other states

Utah’s economy ‘envy’ of other states

December 27, 2021 0 By Merrilee Gasser

Though Gov. Spencer Cox says he is concerned about rising inflation, Utah has added more than 57,000 new jobs since November 2019, according to a news release.

Utah’s November unemployment rate stood around 2.1% while the national average hovered at 4.2%.

Responding to a question about the economy during his monthly news conference Thursday, the governor pointed to the record low unemployment numbers, calling the state’s economy “the envy of virtually every other governor.”

“We have more deals being done in this state, more venture capital coming into the state than at any time in our state’s history,” Cox said. “We have new start-ups coming on. There’s never been a better time to work in the state of Utah. There are jobs available. Jobs in every single industry and every single field, and employers are desperate.”

One of the desperate employers turns out to be the state itself, Cox said. He admitted the state is struggling to keep its jobs filled, including more than 150 vacancies in corrections, spurring mandatory overtime and some employees working multiple shifts.

The labor shortage is one of several factors Cox said is hurting businesses. In a round table discussion with small businesses, Cox said many reported enjoying more business than ever but still are facing the possibility of going out of business because of inflation, struggles to get loans and problems with supply chains.

Despite these issues, private sector employment has grown by 4.7% over a two-year period, according to a news release.

“While the supply of available labor keeps shrinking, the Utah economy continues to grow” said Mark Knold, chief economist at the Department of Workforce Services. “These seem like contradictory forces, yet the Utah economy continues to expand. Utah leads the nation in job growth. Our economy cannot grow like this unless it is finding the labor it needs. So far that challenge is being met.”

This article was originally posted on Utah’s economy ‘envy’ of other states