Higher Education’s Role in Utah’s Workforce

Marilyn Cannon, Regional Economist

Utah continues to be a state that emphasizes the importance and value of education, something that is increasingly apparent as the average education level and number of enrollees in Utah colleges and universities continues to rise. Women, in particular, have been pursuing higher education at greater rates than men. The Utah economy has rewarded individuals obtaining higher degrees. They have greater access to employment opportunities as the number of jobs requiring higher education has increased. These jobs are also, on average, higher paying opportunities.

It is interesting to note that while college education is increasingly popular in Utah, there is a decreasing number of students enrolling in higher education in other states. From 2019 to 2022, only three states saw an increase in college enrollments. Utah topped the charts with enrollments going up 3.6%. The other 47 states saw fewer students filling the chairs in colleges and universities. This Utah enrollment increase is driven by a few different factors. The state has a young population, creating more potential for enrollment growth. Utah also has relatively less expensive education, recently ranked as the state with the highest degree value. This measure compares the cost of tuition and the earnings potential from a degree. The importance Utahns place on higher education also encourages high enrollment numbers. A 2022 survey found that 74% of Utahns feel that higher education is worth the cost. More...

Utah's Employment Summary: October 2023

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 17, 2023) — Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for October 2023 increased an estimated 2.2% across the past 12 months, with the state’s economy adding a cumulative 38,200 jobs since October 2022. Utah’s current job count stands at 1,742,400.

October’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 2.7%, a tenth of a percentage-point increase over September. Approximately 49,300 Utahns are unemployed. Utah’s September unemployment rate is unrevised at 2.6%. The October national unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage-point to 3.9%. More...

Manufacturing Resilience: Exploring Advanced Manufacturing in Utah

By Michael Jeanfreau, Senior Economist

Advanced Manufacturing: In the intricate tapestry of modern economies, manufacturing stands as a fundamental thread that weaves together innovation, production and prosperity. At its core, manufacturing is more than just a process of crafting goods — it's a bedrock industry that underpins the creation of tangible products, propelling economies forward and fostering a symbiotic relationship with various sectors. By transforming raw materials into finished goods, manufacturing fuels consumption, supports other industries and plays an indispensable role in bolstering regional economic growth and job creation. In Utah, manufacturing provides more than 150,000 jobs and pays more than $10 billion in wages annually.

The economic implications of manufacturing extend far beyond the factory floor. A thriving manufacturing sector contributes not only to the abundance of consumer goods but also to the creation of well-paying jobs and the stimulation of related industries. As manufacturing plants hum with activity, the demand for skilled labor grows, providing employment opportunities for individuals with a diverse array of talents and expertise. This intricate interplay generates a positive feedback loop, as job creation boosts local spending, supports community development and ultimately leads to sustained economic expansion. More...