SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is home to two of the country's best current locations for job-seekers, according to new rankings by the Wall Street Journal.
WSJ released the results of its fourth annual job market survey on Friday. It ranked metropolitan areas across the United States in two lists: one for metro areas with more than one million residents, and one for those under one million.
In the larger category, the Salt Lake City metro area was ranked fourth. In the smaller division, Provo-Orem took second place.
These rankings were decided based on data from 2021 in five categories: unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, job growth, labor-force growth and wage growth.
The SLC metro area — which includes all of Salt Lake County and Tooele County — was ranked #1 for unemployment rate, #2 in labor force participation, #2 in job growth, and #24 in both labor-force growth and wage growth.
In the smaller job market rankings, the Provo-Orem metro area (comprised of Utah County and Juab County) was #2 in unemployment, #14 in labor force participation, #9 in job growth, #44 in labor-force growth, and #46 in wage growth.
A couple of metro areas further north in Utah made the top 10 in the smaller category: Logan at #9 and Ogden-Clearfield at #10.
In the 1 million+ category, the areas ranked above SLC were: Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
The WSJ pointed out that these cities (as well as #5 Jacksonville, Florida) have some things in common:
- Population under 2.3 million
- "Fairly low" income taxes (or none)
- Year-round outdoor activities
- Home to large universities, state capitals or high-tech employers