Utah’s latest Key Economic Performance Indicators report indicates many key variables in the state’s recovering economy are better than they were at this time last year.
Employment, revenue, foreclosures and international trade figures are all markedly improved when compared to 2010.
“While we are growing jobs faster than the nation as a whole and we are on track for our international trade goals, we will not relent on our efforts to create jobs for Utahns,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert in a news release. “The data provide a hopeful sign that Utah is headed in the right direction, but there are still far too many Utahns out of work or under-employed.”
The KEPI update reports an 11.1 percent improvement in state general fund and education revenues collected, but the median sales price for existing homes fell about 2.9 percent between the first and second quarters of 2011.
“It is tough to see the nation take such a hard hit and the economy slip so far,” said Nathan Thomas, a Salt Lake City resident who moved to Utah after graduating from the University of Texas. “I’m just glad that I was able to find a job in Utah and settle down with a bit of security in a stable state.”
The report also highlights that Utah is second in the nation for job growth among states and rated the top state by the American Legislative Exchange Council for expected economic recovery. In October 2011, the Wall Street Journal also rated Utah in the top five states poised for job growth.
“Yes, I am optimistic about Utah’s future,” Herbert said. “But I also want people to know that every minute I am aware that many Utah families are facing a stark reality right now. It is for them that I am focused daily on making sure Utah is the place to grow sustainable, quality jobs — jobs that support Utah’s families and bolster Utah’s economy.”
The Department of Workforce Services reports that Utah added 31,600 jobs between Oct. 2010 and Oct. 2011. Utah’s annual employment growth rate of 2.6 percent is higher than national growth of 1.1 percent and among the highest state employment growth rates in the nation.