Help Wanted: Workforce Participation, Wages, Job Desirability, and Skills Gaps

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In a December 2015 Utah Foundation Report, 71% of 151 major local employers reported some level of difficulty finding enough skilled or qualified employees. One-third claimed the worker shortage was the single greatest factor impeding their growth, and an overlapping but not identical third reported the scarcity of skilled workers as the worst quality of Utah’s labor pool. More recent data indicate the trend has not changed. An analysis of Utah’s worker shortage identifies four principal contributing issues: a … Continued

Utah’s Coal Counties Part II: Coal Mines, Jobs, and Economic Benefit

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah’s economic benefit from coal mining and coal-fueled electricity generation is substantial, estimated at nearly three billion dollars. Most of Utah’s coal is produced from mines in a few rural counties. Most of the coal extracted is used to generate electricity at power plants in the state. While coal mining and coal-fueled electricity generation only provide direct employment to about 2,500 Utahns, this equates to over 5% of the 50,000 nonfarm jobs in seven rural … Continued

Utah’s Coal Counties Part I: Coal Energy, Production, and the Future

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Most coal consumption in the United States is for electricity generation. However, coal-fueled electricity’s share of the total has been decreasing. This is due in large part to the availability of low-cost natural gas, stringent environmental regulations that affect coal-fueled power plants, and favorable tax treatment for renewable technologies. Coal-fueled power plants have been closing and others are reducing their total output. As a result, coal production is also decreasing. Utah is one of only six states that gets … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #5: Jobs and the Economy

Written by: sudo

The anemic economic recovery from the 2008 recession had kept jobs and the economy as Utah voters’ highest priority through 2012. Utah’s economy has since emerged as one of the best in the nation, with a low unemployment rate and many companies reporting employee shortages. Voters with lower levels of education had a higher level of concern than those with more education. Full-time workers were more concerned than retirees and stay-at-home parents.1 While jobs and … Continued

Is This the Place? A Survey of Utah Employers

Written by: Mallory Bateman

In a survey of 151 local employers, Utah Foundation took the pulse of Utah’s economy. Topics included what inhibits business growth in Utah, the best and worst of Utah’s labor pool, the availability of potential employees, how Utahns stack up against their out-of-state counterparts, and what drives companies to relocate to or away from Utah. KEY FINDINGS: Based on several questions, 71% of companies reported some level of difficulty finding enough skilled or qualified employees. … Continued

Millennials and Boomers: Finances and Workplace Preferences (Part II)

Written by: Mallory Bateman

PART II: FINANCES AND WORKPLACE PREFERENCES (See Part I: Demographics, Part III: Housing, and Part IV: Politics and Society) In the next decade, projections show that Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce. But what do Millennials want out of the workplace, and how does that differ from other generations? How does student debt affect workplace preferences? And how do Utahns feel about their current employers and incomes? In an effort to answer … Continued

Easing the Burden: Utah Tax Burden Taking Lowest Share of Income in 20 Years

Written by: Mallory Bateman

Over the past several years tax cuts have reduced Utah’s annual revenues by $479 million, or nearly 8%. For Utahns, this means a lower tax burden. Utah Foundation periodically reviews Utah’s tax burden and ranks it among other states. For this review, tax burden is defined as all taxes and mandatory fees collected by the state and local governments as a ratio to $1,000 of personal income. Utah Foundation found that Utah’s state and local … Continued

The Role of Bonds in Utah: A Guide to Utah Bonding and its Benefits and Limitations

Written by: Mallory Bateman

The State of Utah borrows billions of dollars to finance large capital projects. Several such projects loom on the horizon, including the prison relocation, highway construction, and water projects. In consideration of these needs, Utah Foundation researched whether it is beneficial for Utah to maintain the practice of bonding with shorter terms, or if it might be useful to extend the term lengths. The report first explains what municipal bonds are, how they work, and … Continued

United Way of Treasure Valley Community Assessment 2014

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In 2013 the United Way of Treasure Valley retained Utah Foundation to perform a Community Assessment of the United Way’s three-county service area. Work was completed in 2014. The Community Assessment is seen as a foundation to achieve community goals. For the assessment, Utah Foundation analyzed community data as indicators of community success, barriers to reveal hindrances to community success, and opportunities as potential solutions to barriers. To inform the assessment, Utah Foundation held focus … Continued

A Snapshot of 2050: An Analysis of Projected Population Change in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah has been one of the fastest growing states in the nation for the past six years. Several Utah counties were among the top ten fastest growing counties in the nation between 2012 and 2013. This rapid growth is projected to continue, though the rate of this growth is up for debate. Projections range from one million to two-and-a-half million new Utahns by 2050. Utah in the future will likely feature an older, more diverse … Continued