Getting started with the QWI Explorer for Utah: Step-by-step guide

By Michael Jeanfreau,  Senior Economist

Bridging state expertise with federal reach: The power of partnership in labor market data

In today’s data-driven world, understanding local economic conditions is crucial. However, a significant challenge in workforce data analysis is the occasional lack of detail to address specific questions. Broad trends and patterns can be observed across large regions or groups, but zooming in on smaller areas or particular demographic segments remains difficult. For instance, while general employment trends in a state may be apparent, discerning the nuances of what happens in a small town or among a specific group of workers can be challenging. This gap in detail hampers the ability to tailor solutions or policies that meet the unique needs of these smaller or specific groups. More...

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

With 2024 in full swing and tax season upon us, now is the perfect time to explore the benefits of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)a valuable opportunity for employers statewide.

WOTC is a federal tax credit incentive program, provided to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups. By participating in WOTC, you not only expand your talent pool but also benefit from tax incentives, making it a win-win situation for your business and the community.

With Utah’s challenging hiring landscape, WOTC is a great incentive to consider as you build your workforce. By hiring untapped populations, you not only address your workforce needs but also contribute to breaking down barriers to employment. These populations, often overlooked, might just hold the talent your business needs.

Through WOTC you can receive up to $9,600 in tax credit. The Department of Workforce Services is here to help guide you through the processTo learn more about the WOTC and access an online application, click here.

For additional information about the program including frequently asked questions, click here.

Employer workshops and hiring events may also target untapped, vulnerable populations and generate interest in the WOTC. To learn the benefits of accommodating, hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities, contact Ben Baldonado at (435) 414-5461 or Joshua Rodeback at (385) 266-0509.

The Utah Job Demand Buffer

By Gwen Kervin


Since March of 2022, the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in an attempt to cool inflation and slow the economy. However, so far, the effect on Utah’s labor market has been minimal. Constricted labor markets following the COVID pandemic caused employers to have a hard time filling open positions. Because employers struggled to find workers, a large gap developed in unmet labor demand. This elevated wages, which in turn lured marginal workers into the labor force, helping to fill some of the vacancies. While Utah continues to turn in job growth numbers, growth rates have come down from the highs experienced in 2021 and 2022, resulting in a reduction in the unmet labor gap. Because of this, any additional Fed rate moves could have a more immediate influence on the Utah labor market going forward. More...