Job growth, lower unemployment and positive economic performance are on the menu for Utah in 2015.

According to the 2015 Economic Report to the Governor, a collaboration between the David Eccles School of Business and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, Utah continues to outperform national averages, with new jobs developing at a faster pace and unemployment continuing to trend far lower than the nation. Barring any major disruptions to global and national economic conditions, the state can look forward to moderate growth and improving economic conditions in 2015. Utah’s labor market in 2015 is expected to taper off slightly; however, an improving national economy could increase growth forecasts.

Utah recovered from the recession faster than the nation and is expected to remain a leading economic growth state this year.

Key indicators and trends include the following:

  • Employment growth in 2014 was at 3.0 percent in Utah, far above the 1.8 percent national average.
  • Utah’s job growth is expected to be 2.5 percent in 2015, while the nation is estimated at 1.8 percent.
  • Utah’s unemployment rate is expected to hold steady in 2015 at 3.6 percent.
  • Utah is expected to register another year of net in-migration in 2015.
  • Utah’s energy sector is the industry to watch with oil prices trending significantly lower than recent years.  Coal production in 2014 is near a 30-year low.
  • Home building construction in 2014 continued its slow recovery from the Great Recession. The recovery is only about 50 percent of the pre-recession peak despite low mortgage rates.
  • Tourism-related jobs in the private sector increased 6 percent in 2014, double the growth rate of all other private-sector jobs.
  • Utah attracted approximately $1 billion in venture capital investment in 2014, a sign of the tech sector’s confidence in the Utah marketplace.
  • As the labor market improves, analysts expect discouraged workers will be drawn back into the labor force, a significant benefit to Utah families.
  • The rebuild of the Salt Lake City International Airport terminal will pay economic dividends throughout 2015 as expenditures on the project will reach $20 million per month by the end of the year.

“Utah’s vibrant and diverse economy remains among the strongest in the nation. I credit this to the hard work of so many Utahns and smart investment decisions made by business leaders and elected officials. Challenges remain as Utah’s homebuilding industry recovers and low oil prices impact Utah’s energy sector, but 2015 is poised to be another favorable year for the Utah economy,” said Natalie Gochnour, associate dean at the David Eccles School of Business.

The report is available to the public.

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