The Utah Economy remains healthy and consumers continue to feel confident about the state’s economy. The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) remained almost the same in May, dropping just 0.8 points from 112.6 in April to 111.9. The overall CAI is currently 7.7 points higher than it was 12 months ago. Scott Anderson, President & CEO of Zions Bank said “Utah’s consistent business-friendly policies allow consumers to maintain their high levels of confidence in their current situations and in their economic prosperity a few months out…It’s a great place to be heading into the summer season so families can enjoy their vacations absent the stress of economic uncertainty.”
Every major industrial sector expanded in 2016, contributing a total of 49,500 new jobs over the year. An annual employment growth rate of 3.6% was above the state’s long-term average and among the strongest in the nation. Utah’s construction sector posted the highest job growth in 2016, 6.8%, fueled by both robust residential and commercial activity. The value of commercial construction reached a record $2.5 billion in 2016, with major projects across the state like the expansion of the Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, the expansion of the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, and a 1,700-acre solar plant in Delta.
Low unemployment and rising wages for Utahns, along with growth in travel and tourism activity-Utah’s ski resorts and national parks hosted a record number of visitors in 2016-contributed to exceptoinally strong job growth of 6.1% in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector over the past year. Utah’s population surpassed 3 million in 2016, with the highest of annual growth in the nation of 2%. Net in-migration of just over 24,000 was the most in 10 years.
The Economic Report to the Governor is considered the preeminent data source on the Utah Economy. It is a combined effort of the David Eccles School of Business and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. It is prepared by the Utah Economic Council.