Understanding Location Quotients: Unveiling Economic Specialization in Utah

By Michael Jeanfreau, Senior Economist

Knowing the profile of an area’s economic structure is the first step toward managing and fostering economic and workforce development. Location quotients (LQs) are a statistical tool used to probe the relative concentrations of specific industries, occupations, or types of employment in geographic areas compared to the national average. LQs provide insights into any area’s economic specialization and help identify unique strengths and weaknesses that underlie its economic landscape.

The formula for calculating a location quotient is straightforward: More...

Workers With Disabilities Help Fuel Utah’s Post-COVID Economy

By Ben Crabb, Regional Economist

Given intended economic restrictions through monetary policy undertaken by the United States Federal Reserve (Fed), the resilience of labor markets has been a surprise to many economists throughout 2022 and 2023. In Utah, the number of jobs now is above what would have been anticipated given the deep COVID jobs disruption coupled with Fed moves to slow the economy’s post-COVID inflation flareup. The continued expansion of the labor market depends to a large degree on maintaining a high labor force participation rate. After taking a downturn in the early part of the pandemic, Utah’s labor force participation rate has rebounded and is now at its highest level since 2009. This article will explore how an oftentimes under-utilized part of the workforce — workers with disabilities — has helped fuel Utah’s increased labor force participation rate. More...

Utah's Employment Summary: December 2023

SALT LAKE CITY (Jan. 19, 2024) — Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for December 2023 increased an estimated 1.7% across the past 12 months, with the state’s economy adding a cumulative 28,900 jobs since December 2022. Utah’s current job count stands at 1,734,700.

December’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 2.8%. Approximately 50,900 Utahns are unemployed. Utah’s November unemployment rate is unrevised at 2.8%. The December national unemployment rate is unchanged at 3.7%. More...