In this episode of Utah Thrives, we hear Spencer Cox and Chris Peterson talk about Utahns’ top priorities: Health care (costs and accessibility) State taxes and government spending K-12 education Jobs and the economy Public health / COVID-19 pandemic
Utah’s tourism-destination counties – particularly those in Southeastern Utah – and the state’s most important oil and gas extraction counties have been the slowest to recover from the pandemic-resultant recession. In the Southeastern part of the state, Garfield, Grand, San Juan and Wayne counites’ unemployment rates remain between 8.3% and 10.3%. Duchesne and Uintah counties sit at 7.6% and 8.5%, respectively. The decline in energy prices mentioned in Utah Foundation’s September 24 release, Utah Priority … Continued
As part of the 2020 Utah Priorities Project survey, when asked if they would be willing to pay more taxes for public schools, a majority of voters agreed. Utah voters preferred that additional funding be directed toward teacher pay and smaller class sizes, with less emphasis on either technology, books and other supplies or counselors and support services. Improved school facilities was a distant last place. Learn about how these preferences conflict and more in … Continued
This episode of Utah Thrives draws from our ongoing Utah Priorities 2020 Project. The discussion explores how Utahns’ perspectives changed from February to July, as well as other intriguing findings.
Income inequality is on the American mind, with an economic crisis upon us, tensions on the streets, and a growing sense that an increasingly remote elite is controlling an increasingly disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth. Concerns are emanating from right, left and center. One prominent observer is now even arguing that an age of “neo-feudalism” is nigh. Utah Foundation recently explored income inequality in a series of briefs in our “Significant Statistics” series. Our … Continued
Medicaid enrollment increased by 9% from March to May 2019.i (The first phase of Medicaid’s adult expansion started in April 2019, with adults in households up to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) becoming eligible.) Enrollment increases were still modest between January and March 2020 (when eligibility moved to 138% of FPL), perhaps due to a robust economy. However, enrollment increased 8% from March to May 2020 amidst the economic impacts of the … Continued
While Provo, Utah, made national news in July as the location of a protest against masks, a majority of Utah’s voters think that either the state or businesses should require the use of masks in public. And nearly all Utahns support at least encouraging mask wearing. In early July, we surveyed Utah voters for our Utah Priorities Project. We found that 42% of them think the state should mandate mask wearing in public, while another … Continued
THERE HAS BEEN A sharp decline in government jobs since the pandemic began affecting Utah’s economy in March. From March to May, nearly 20,000 government jobs disappeared – a 7% decline. This is roughly proportional to the decrease in jobs overall – 6%. This contrasts with the previous recession, when jobs overall decreased 6% from 2008 to 2010 while government jobs actually increased by 3% over the same time period. * Image from Utah Foundation, … Continued
Earlier this month, Utah Foundation held a Breakfast Briefing looking at income inequality. Utah Foundation has also dedicated multiple Significant Statistics posts to looking at how income inequality varies across the state. We found that urban counties in Utah have the same levels of inequality when compared to more-rural counties (though income baselines varied significantly). However, the broad analysis obscures some of the detail, showing wide variation in inequality among counties and regions. Similarly, looking … Continued
This episode of Utah Thrives draws from our recent Breakfast Briefing on income inequality in Utah. The discussion with University of Utah professors looks especially at social mobility, health and education challenges in Salt Lake County.