Tool will be used to assist in measuring and leading economic comeback
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September 21, 2020) – The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Recovery Coalition, in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, has released a new economic tool for the business community – the Road to Recovery Dashboard – to track the state’s path to a full and complete economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession.
“While the effects of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come, and we are concerned by the current increases in the number of Utahns testing positive with the virus, from an economic perspective we know that in Utah we have a solid foundation upon which to rebuild,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “Salt Lake Chamber’s primary objective with the new Roadmap to Recovery is to empower the private sector to create jobs and opportunity for individuals and families throughout Utah. In that effort, we are just beginning. We need to see beyond the horizon to view opportunities as they are manifest, so our businesses can make decisions accordingly. The Roadmap’s Dashboard will be interactive and dynamic – updated monthly – with actionable information and analysis.”
The Dashboard will be updated consistently, providing essential insights, tracking 10 timely and leading measures, and sharing salient indicators since the start of the pandemic.
Three essential insights from the September 2020 Roadmap to Recovery Dashboard include:
- The Utah economy continues to improve, but has a long way to go. Continued weekly unemployment claims peaked at 126,192 on May 2, 2020 and have now declined for 19 consecutive weeks. Continued claims for the week of September 12, 2020 tallied 35,649 showing the Utah economy still has a long way to go. Average weekly claims in 2019 were 8,856.
- Utah’s unemployment rate of 4.1% is the lowest in the country. This positive news means many furloughed and laid off Utahns are returning to work. Pay close attention, however, as it’s likely during COVID-19 that many Utahns have dropped out of the labor market and are not included in this rate. Economists also warn about estimation difficulties during a pandemic and an economic shock.
- Construction employment surges as Leisure and Hospitality suffer. Job change by industry varies dramatically. Year-over job growth for August 2020 shows the Leisure/ Hospitality industry suffering through a 16.8% contraction and Natural Resources (energy and mining) declining by 11.5%. Utah’s construction industry, which increased by 7.4%, continues to be Utah’s fastest growing major industry over the past 12 months.
“While government performs a critical role in responding to COVID-19, private sector leadership is essential,” said Salt Lake Chamber Chief Economist Natalie Gochnour. “The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Recovery Coalition provides this leadership and will ultimately accelerate a full economic recovery for our state.”
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 Brandon Fugal, Chairman, Colliers International; Mikelle Moore, SVP and Chief Community Health Officer, Intermountain Healthcare; and Scott Parson, CEO, Staker Parson Materials & Construction. Investors of the Coalition include WCF Insurance, Deseret Management Corporation, Intermountain Healthcare, and Staker Parson Materials & Construction.
To view the Roadmap to Recovery Dashboard, visit slchamber.com/roadmap-dashboard.
ABOUT THE SALT LAKE CHAMBER
The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000- plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of Chamber members and their employees. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.
ABOUT THE KEM C. GARDNER POLICY INSTITUTE
The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute serves Utah by preparing economic, demographic, and public policy research that helps the state prosper. We are Utah’s demographic experts, leaders on the Utah economy, and specialists in public policy and survey research. We are an honest broker of INFORMED RESEARCH, which guides INFORMED DISCUSSIONS, and leads to INFORMED DECISIONS™. For more information, please visit gardner.utah.edu or call 801-587-3717.