BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Which Utah businesses have recovered from the pandemic?

Dec 20, 2021, 6:16 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2021, 12:36 pm

At least two small businesses in Salt Lake City are closing their doors, while another has set up a...

The Downtown Alliance blames inflation, the cost of labor, and the overall cost of doing business as reasons for the closures.(Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah businesses are in good shape as 2022 approaches. The jobless rate is ultra-low. But still some businesses are struggling.

Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Derek Miller joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to talk about the latest Road to Prosperity Dashboard.

The Road to Prosperity Dashboard tracks Utah’s path to a full and complete economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession. The Dashboard, which is updated monthly, provides essential insights, tracks timely and leading measures, and shares salient indicators since the start of the pandemic.

From the Dashboard: Utah’s October two-year job growth of 3.7% is the highest in the nation and one of only four states showing positive job change.

Miller said the dashboard comprises 10 timely indicators of the economy. He said the dashboard provides important data for employers and employees to see how the economy is faring.

“So far those indicators are looking good,” Miller said.

Job growth for Utah businesses

The Dashboard shows Utah with a job growth rate of 3.7% in October, the latest available numbers, followed by Idaho and Arizona. All other states are registering negative growth.

“[The numbers] speaks to the strength of both employers and employees. They’re the ones that make it happen and it’s happening better [in Utah] than anywhere else,” Miller said.

Unemployment, the good and the bad

When the pandemic descended on Utah in the winter of 2020, Utah’s unemployment rate was 2.5%. It is now 2.1%.

“That is the historic low ever since we started measuring the unemployment rate in Utah. 2.1% is the lowest it’s ever been,” Miller said, adding the low number is a mixed bag.

With help wanted signs popping up all over Utah, the low unemployment rate can constrain economic growth.

“We do believe that it’s dangerously low for our overall economy’s health,” Miller said.

Because of the very competitive nature of the jobs market, some businesses are winning, and some are losing.

According to the dashboard, the construction industry in Utah is growing at a rate of 9.5% in October, the latest numbers available, whereas the natural-resources industry is shrinking at minus 12.6%.

“The good news is that those decreases in those industries have been more than made up for in the increases in other industries,” he said.

In addition to construction, trade and transportation are solid at 7.1%. Professional and business services, including banking, are moving forward at 6.8%.

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Which Utah businesses have recovered from the pandemic?