Who Rules Wage Growth?

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.” –David Mamet

You might be surprised — older Utahns are working longer and earning more

Baby boomers may be the longest-working generation in more than half a century. For whatever reason, many baby boomers consistently report that they plan on working past their 60s. And, they seem to be sticking to that plan and making more in wages than their predecessors did to boot.

The baby-boom generation is certainly the defining demographic feature of our age. This large cohort born after World War II (between 1946 and 1964) represents the “pig in the python” of modern population figures. The first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and many appear to be working past that age. However, the trend for longer labor force participation and higher earnings started years before baby boomers started reaching retirement age. In a recent U.S. Census Bureau webinar “Older People Working Longer, Earning More,” James Spletzer outlined this national trend. But, what about the Beehive State with her unusually young demographics? Are older Utahns following the national pack? They are indeed. More...

Utah: A Tale of Two Economies

By: Mark Knold, Supervising Economist

The Utah economy consistently performs well. At times, recessions do arise; but, once they are done, Utah’s upward economic trajectory resumes. The nation’s last recession was 10 years ago. It was rather dramatic given its “Great Recession” label. But that was 10 years ago; Utah has fared well since.

Every state experienced employment loss in the 2008–2010 period. That means every state had an employment count higher in 2007 than in 2009. Those 2007 levels are each state’s pre-recession employment high point (with a few exceptions). To eventually return to that level thereafter means a state has matched its employment count achieved before the recession began. But that level is just economic recovery. What about going over-and-above? To go above is to add prosperity. More...

Utah's Employment Summary: May 2018

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for May 2018 grew by an estimated 3.5 percent, adding 51,900 jobs to the economy since May 2017. Utah’s current employment level registers 1,516,000. No revision was made to April’s year-over job growth rate.

May’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month to 3.0 percent. Approximately 48,100 Utahns were unemployed during the month and actively seeking work. The national unemployment rate decreased one tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent. More...