Results of a recent statewide poll indicate that a significant percentage of Utahns view the state’s high-quality labor force as the single greatest driver of state growth, while many believe that low levels of funding for public education pose the greatest threat to Utah’s future economic growth.
The survey, conducted in partnership by Dan Jones & Associates and the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, shows that 33 percent of respondents believe the state’s high-quality labor force is the element most responsible for Utah’s economic growth, followed by 26 percent that believe Utah’s high quality of life is the main driver. Approximately 19 percent of respondents indicate that they consider state incentives that promote business expansion and relocation to Utah as the key element bolstering Utah’s economic growth.
Broken down by political affiliation, Republicans were more likely to believe the state’s high-quality labor force is the biggest driver of economic growth (36 percent), while Democrats were more likely to believe state incentives that promote expansion and relocation were the biggest drivers (26 percent).
“Utahns are well aware of the state’s strong economy, and the greatest percentage believes that our high-quality labor force is the main factor driving growth,” commented Dr. Dan Jones. “Utah’s workers are young and well-educated, and roughly one-third are bilingual. This capability is attractive to businesses with global operations, and companies like eBay, Goldman Sachs, and Proctor and Gamble have come to Utah, in part, because of its high-quality workers.”
The survey also revealed the factors that Utahns believe pose the greatest threat to the state’s future economic vitality. Thirty-five percent of respondents (the largest group) feel that low levels of funding for public education is the issue most likely to stymie future growth, followed by 26 percent that believe that political uncertainty surrounding national fiscal policy represents the main risk, and 24 percent that believe that Utah’s poor air quality is the most important issue to tackle in order to promote economic growth.