SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox delivered promising news Friday about the state's economic outlook post-pandemic.
“This economic reactivation is happening much more quickly that others anticipated," he said. “Utah's economy continues to recover in a very solid way from the pandemic recession, and it remains incredibly robust.”
Before the pandemic hit, the state historically had the lowest unemployment rate in the whole country, which has aided its recovery as well.
Utah is now one of only two states coming out of 2020 with a net positive job growth. The other is Idaho.
Further showing that incredible resiliency, the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank based in California, listed Utah’s three largest cities all in the top 10 best-performing cities heading into 2021.
Ogden-Clearfield ranked ninth, Salt Lake City ranked fourth and Provo-Orem took home the #1 spot, according to the new report. Utah was the only state with multiple cities on the top list.
The report expands on Provo taking the top spot by saying:
“Provo-Orem, Utah, which ranked second in 2020, reclaims the top spot among this year’s Best-Performing Large Cities. Provo ranked first in both one- and five-year job growth while also ranking highly in hightech GDP concentration and the number of high-tech industries. Provo-Orem is a recipient of the tech sector’s outmigration from the expensive West Coast. It is a relatively new innovation center but offers a high quality of life and amenities in the mountain region. With significantly lower costs than Silicon Valley, ProvoOrem has attracted such tech giants as Qualtrics, Vivint, and SmartCitizen.”
Click here to read the full report.
But despite a great overall economic outlook, Governor Cox admitted that the rebound is not hitting everyone equally.
“This was a devastating a downturn as we’ve ever seen by magnitude… It's not even close in such a short amount of time," he said. “There are still households and industries that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and will need a longer time to before they achieve a full recovery, like the entertainment industry and the hospitality industry.”
Still, other industries such as outdoor recreation and construction saw great years even with a downturn in the initial months.
“Some of our industries are just doing incredibly well," Cox said. "Many of them had record years.”
In closing, the governor offered his praise for Utahns as a whole.
“We are very optimistic, but we did take a hit," he said. “With vaccines now scaling and warmer months ahead, we believe that a sustained trajectory of economic recovery is within reach.”