The Class of 2019: Utah college graduates facing great economy

Apr 30, 2019, 1:35 PM
Students in graduation caps. The Utah graduation rate went up over the past few years....
Utah graduation rates continue to see in increase. Photo: Butch Dill, Associated Press

Editorial note: the following is the first in a three-part series on the opportunities available to the Class of 2019.

College graduates all over the state are trading in their caps and gowns for the real world — and hopefully, a paycheck.

It’s college graduation season, and one economist says these grads are entering the best Utah job market in the past 15 years.

“You have very low unemployment, you have very strong job growth going on, and in the last two years you are also starting to see wage growth going,” said Mark Knold, a senior economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

“There’s wage growth and bidding among graduates, so it’s a very good market to be in right now,” he said.

Graduates at work

One new University of Utah graduate this week, Alisa Cloward, has had a job lined up since last October. She’ll be moving to Washington to work for Microsoft as a software engineer. Cloward got the job through the Education at Work program, a non-profit that connects college students with companies.

“It’s been quite a relief to know I had a job lined up since last October. But even before I got the job, I was so worried about it, wondering what I was going to do post-graduation,” she said.

She says thankfully most of her friends have jobs afterward as well, but it has been stressful.

Knold says hopefully new graduates won’t be stressed for long.

“Here in Utah, we have a very diversified economy, so with this kind of job growth of 3 percent or higher, there are opportunities across all the spectrum of the economy for jobs and opportunities,” he said.

Coming up in part two: is Utah producing the right kind of graduates?

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

Glass jar with coins on table, closeup. Money saving concept (Adobe Stock)...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Budgeting when you live below the poverty line

If you're living below the poverty level, it can be hard to buy the things you need. Here's how one school assignment is trying to give more insight.
1 day ago
Elizabeth Weiler

Lessons to be learned from the UK’s recession

SALT LAKE CITY — “Recession” is a word that has not escaped the minds of Americans. When we observe some of the largest economies in the world like the United Kingdom, there are major takeaways we can learn from those overseas to help prevent economic disasters within our home.  Between inflation, living costs, the war […]
1 day ago
a rendering of the WonderBlock that will be developed in downtown ogden...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Downtown Ogden expansion project begins finalizing plans

A downtown Ogden expansion project, Make Ogden, is taking its first steps to creating a new development called the WonderBlock.
1 day ago
Samantha Herrera

Increased shoplifting puts pressure on retailers and raises prices

Shoplifting is hitting retailers hard this season. Though retailers lose millions in stolen merchandise, offenders usually go without much punishment.
1 day ago
Salt Lake Express...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake Express announces new route to Reno, Nevada

Salt Lake Express is now offering service to Reno, Nevada. The route began Dec. 1 after months of working with the Nevada Department of Transportation.
2 days ago
Student loan forgiveness on hold...
Samantha Herrera

Student loan forgiveness resolution on hold until 2023

Jason Iuliano, associate professor of law for the University of Utah spoke to Dave and Dujanovic about the student loan forgiveness block.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
The Class of 2019: Utah college graduates facing great economy