Utah’s Economy at a Crossroads

Once again, the best state for business begins the year with significant economic momentum. Utah’s job growth ranks among the top states in the country, unemployment is at a seven-year low and businesses have added over 200,000 jobs since the recession. Our state also has an emerging reputation as a technology and advanced-manufacturing hub, with a dynamic downtown and an increasingly diversified economy. Our success is a result of taking advantage of challenges and opportunities for growth. Today, we again face several key decisions that will either stall or accelerate our current momentum. The choices we make will determine Utah’s future economic success across the spectrum of industries and interests. We must strategically address this crossroads in order to realize our state’s true economic potential.

Challenges and Opportunities for Utah’s Future Growth:

  1. Untapped Potential – Many industries are already impacted by a lack of hourly and skilled talent as a result of a vibrant economy. There is untapped potential throughout our state that can provide a highly creative, diverse, productive and industrious workforce. This pressing labor shortage should also serve as a warning sign to the future constraints on our economy from an under-qualified workforce.
  2. Work in Progress –  Utah’s business leaders are increasingly concerned that the combination of burdensome regulations, an outdated tax structure and increasing energy prices could stymie future economic growth. Our exemplary business climate may easily deteriorate from a sense of complacency leading to an underperforming economy.
  3. Generational Decisions – Utah has a strong history of making disciplined, strategic and significant capital investments that serve as a catalyst to lasting prosperity. Generational decisions on several rare opportunities of significant economic potential are now being made. If not handled advantageously, these opportunities could be squandered and impair future growth.