The 2022 Utah Misery Index: A Glimpse into the Fiscal Measures of Happiness

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The Utah Foundation has written about happiness. In fact, the Utah Foundation’s Personal Quality of Life survey includes a question asking respondents if they “are happy.” While many Utahns report that they are content, the 2022 Quality of Life project shows that financial concerns are drawing down Utahns’ quality of life – from their perceptions of their communities to their own personal well-being. That takes us to misery. The 2022 Utah Misery Index: A Glimpse … Continued

To Protect and Serve: Meeting Law Enforcement Recruiting and Retention Challenges in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Businesses in Utah have for years reported that they have difficulty finding enough skilled employees to meet their needs. In a 2018 survey, the Utah Foundation found that this difficulty was the top issue “holding businesses back.” But this problem is not unique to the private sector. Local and state governments face a similar challenge, particularly in filling law enforcement positions. It seems to have become even more acute in recent years. This report highlights … Continued

Plugging Into the Future of Electricity: The Economic Impacts of the IPP Renewed Project

Written by: Christopher Collard

Having provided coal-generated electricity since the mid-1980s, the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) has decided to build a combined-cycle gas power plant by 2025 to replace the coal-fueled generators. The plan, known as IPP Renewed, will include a turbine that runs on a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen, with 30% hydrogen at start-up, transitioning to 100% hydrogen by 2045. Plugging into the Future of Electricity explores the IPP Renewed endeavor and its economic impact to … Continued

Going for the Green: How Utah Can Thrive in the New Climate Economy

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The “New Climate Economy” is an effort to tie economic strength to actions intended to reduce the impacts of climate change. Such efforts are taking place around the world. In the U.S., innovations and other measures from corporations, along with new policies and investments from the federal government, provide states with a range of opportunities to capitalize on the transition to an economy that prioritizes climate-focused strategies. This report, Going for the Green: How Utah … Continued

The Way Home: The Shift to Telework and its Air Quality Ramifications

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Shortly after the start of the 2020 pandemic, Utah Foundation released a report, Work Away from Work: The Challenges and Promise of Teleworking, on remote work. It provided an overview of the potential benefits and pitfalls of the massive experiment in teleworking prompted by the pandemic. This report – Part II – focuses on how remote work relates to air quality in Utah, provides new insights gained during 2020, and looks toward the future interplay … Continued

Insights on Incentives: Optimizing Local Approaches to Tax Incentives in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s series on state and local incentives addresses the risks that can come with providing public financial benefits to select private parties. The series explores ways to minimize those risks. This third report of the series focuses on local incentives. This report relies on a survey that compares Utah’s cities and counties with their national counterparts. Utah Foundation supplemented the survey results with dozens of interviews with local governments. Cities and counties in Utah … Continued

Utah Priorities 2020 | Utah Priority No. 4: Jobs and the Economy

Written by: Christopher Collard

In March, Utah voters ranked jobs and the economy as the 12th most important of 15 competing priorities. However, by July the coronavirus pandemic reignited jobs and the economy as one of Utah voters’ top priorities. This mirrors Utah’s record-low unemployment rate in early 2020, which spiked to a record-high unemployment rate by April. While much of the economy is normalizing, the longterm economic strain of the pandemic remains unknown. By many broad metrics, the … Continued

The Justice Gap: Addressing the Unmet Legal Needs of Lower-Income Utahns

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The Justice Gap: Addressing the Unmet Legal Needs of Lower-Income Utahns focuses on the legal needs of lower-income Utahns – or the roughly 26% of Utah’s population living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. The purpose is to inform the public of Utahns’ civil legal needs and provide research to help stakeholders with informed decision-making on the future allocation of legal resources. Read the executive summary of the report here. Among the … Continued

Work Away from Work: The Challenges and Promise of Teleworking

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah Foundation began a teleworking study in early 2020 without knowing just how timely the topic would become. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease a couple of months later, public and private sector responses upended many Americans’ working lives, sending millions into telework arrangements overnight. This report, Work Away from Work: The Challenges and Promise of Teleworking, examines trends and seeks to assist citizens and public and private sector leaders in addressing the challenges … Continued

EDTIF Elevated? Utah’s Evolving State Incentive Program

Written by: Peter Reichard

Just over five years since receiving strong criticism from the state auditor, Utah’s Economic Development Tax Increment Financing program (EDTIF) has undergone significant changes. However, a number of questions remain to verify that the program has been optimized. Today, Utah Foundation releases EDTIF Elevated? Utah’s Evolving State Incentive Program, which examines recent changes to EDTIF, sets out program results and explores ongoing areas of discussion. This is the second installment in Utah Foundation’s Economic Development … Continued