Photo | Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay, St. George News
ST. GEORGE –According to the Salt Lake Trade “Roadmap to prosperity”Released last month, the state’s economy continues to recover as consumer confidence plummets.
“We continue to see strong gains in several important sectors of the Utah economy such as construction, financial services, manufacturing and commerce,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance in a press release. “Despite a headwind against consumer confidence created by the rapid rise of the COVID delta variant over the summer, our economy remains stable and poised to continue on a growth path.”
The roadmap reported that the state ranks second in the country for the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6% and employment growth rate of 3.5% over two years, adding that these values are the better than they have been since before the pandemic.
According to Manpower Services Department, Washington County reflects the state’s unemployment rate of 2.6%, while Iron County is only slightly above 2.7% and Kane County at 2.9%. On the other hand, Garfield County’s numbers are the highest in the state at 6.7%, 1.5% above the national average.
Another sign of recovery, the number of air travel to Utah topped the 2019 average for the first time since 2019 with 2.25 million passengers passing through the Salt Lake City airport.
“The rebound in travel bodes well for our tourism economy,” said Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “And our strong stance in job creation shows that Utah is poised to continue pulling the country out of pandemic recession. Coupled with stable construction and booming retail sales tax revenues, steadily declining unemployment claims allow our state to weather the remaining challenges with strength. “
Mark Knold, chief economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said in a podcast that over the next few months, the state is expected to face more challenges as the variant delta is making its way into communities. Consumer confidence has declined steadily, with August posting lower levels than October of last year.
“When consumers feel the unknown, like the delta variant game from our current perspective, they tend to cut back on their spending,” Knold said. “We see it not only with Utah’s economic numbers, but nationally as well.”
Regarding the increase in delta variant cases, Mikelle Moore, co-chair of the Salt Lake Chamber, suggested that if the Utahns remain vigilant and work together with perseverance, the economy will continue to recover. Likewise, Miller mentioned that labor market participation and employee vaccination should continue to be encouraged to maintain the state’s economic trajectory.
For more information, statistics and interactive charts visit Salt Lake Chamber Roadmap to Prosperity.
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