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Economist says Utah’s economy is doing well during the pandemic

FILE: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

SALT LAKE CITY — “Utah’s economy continues to be extremely strong,” said Robert Spendlove, Senior economist for Zions Bank.

He said the professional business services sector is driving the economy right now, especially in the technology field.  

“We are one of only two states in the U.S. which has seen positive job growth since the beginning of the pandemic,”  Spendlove said.

But there have been a couple of industries that are still struggling.

“The hospitality sector took the biggest hit during the pandemic. It had been coming back strongly, but now again we’re seeing weakness.  The same with travel and tourism.”  said Spendlove.

He said it is due to the surge in the Delta variant of COVID-19 which may be causing people to avoid eating out at restaurants as much and hold off on traveling.

“Currently, there are 11-million jobs which need to be filled across the United States,”  said Spendlove.  “But there are only 332,000 people actively looking for jobs.”

Spendlove said some people gave up looking or may be in the process of changing their career path, and others aren’t qualified to fill many of the positions which are available.