The U.S. economy took a significant hit due to the pandemic and economic shutdown in 2020. Businesses let go of employees and reduced hours; the unemployment rate peaked in April 2020, reaching an astounding 14.4% in the U.S. and 9.7% in Utah. To stimulate the economy and aid households, the federal government introduced a variety of financial resources, including stimulus checks. Beginning in early 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed Americans nine times over a … Continued
Four Mountain States ended the year atop the nation in personal income growth. Arizona and Montana experienced an increase of 7.1% in personal income, Utah ranked third in the country with a 6.9% increase, followed by Idaho with a 6.8% annual increase. One Mountain State – Wyoming – was at the very bottom of the nation, but still saw an increase (1.1%). Most of the personal income growth came from government transfers. However, Utah ranked … Continued
One theory commonly floated about the current crunch is that the higher levels of remote work have allowed workers to leave higher-density cities for locations with good job opportunities and a higher quality of life – both strong points for Utah, though Utah Foundation is unaware of any data supporting the theory itself. A second factor for the housing crunch more broadly is record low interest rates. In May, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate … Continued
Utah Foundation’s 2020 Utah Priorities Project found that housing affordability is a top issue to Utah voters.
Are Utah’s Local Governments Optimizing their Use of Tax Incentives? In this edition of Utah Thrives, we discuss the findings of Utah Foundation’s December 2020 report, Insights on Incentives: Optimizing Local Approaches to Tax Incentives in Utah.
It looked like a stroke of genius. Back in the 1950s, California officials, looking to fund economic development projects under tight budget constraints, created a mechanism known as tax increment financing, or TIF. The idea was to pledge new (or incremental) tax revenue generated from a project to make the project itself possible. It would be a clean win for the public, because the only money to be spent would be money that would not … Continued
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
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
Income Inequality in Utah: Urban Versus Rural Last week, Utah Foundation held a Breakfast Briefing on income inequality in Utah. One question that the briefing didn’t address is what income inequality looks like off of the Wasatch Front. While last week’s Significant Statistic looked at inequality by county and region, this week’s post looks more directly at the urban/rural divide. Utah Foundation sorted Utahns by urban and more-rural counties, dividing each into five evenly-sized groups … Continued