By: Juliette Tennert

Today, the Utah Economic Council released the 29th edition of the annual Economic Report to the Governor. The report is a collaborative endeavor between the Council, the David Eccles School of Business, and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Highlights from the report include:

Employment:  Utah added an estimated 49,500 jobs in 2016.  Employment growth at 3.6 percent was more than double the national rate of 1.7 percent.  All major sectors posted job growth.

Population:  Utah’s population surpassed the 3 million mark in 2016.  Net in-migration of just over 24,000 was the most in 10 years and contributed to 40 percent of the state’s total population growth.

Construction Sector:  The construction sector posted the highest job growth in 2016, 6.8 percent, fueled by both robust residential and commercial activity. The value of commercial construction reached a record $2.5 billion in 2016.

Leisure and Hospitality Sector:  The leisure and hospitality sector posted 6.1 percent job growth in 2016, fueled by low unemployment and rising wages for Utahns, along with growth in travel and tourism activity – Utah’s ski resorts and national parks hosted a record number of visitors in 2016.

Economic Outlook:  Demographic advantages, an appealing business climate, and increasing labor force participation will continue to be an advantage for the Utah economy in 2017.  Growth is expected to moderate but, all going well, Utah’s economy will once again be one of the top-performing economies in the nation in the coming year.

A variety of private and public sector experts contributed to the 136-page report this year.  As co-chair of the Utah Economic Council, I extend my deepest thanks to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Utah State Tax Commission, Utah State Office of Education, Utah System of Higher Education, Utah Geological Survey, Economic Development Corporation of Utah, Utah Foundation, Utah Farm Bureau, Utah Nonprofits Association, CBRE, World Trade Center Utah, Zions Bank and Cicero Group for sharing their knowledge.

The full report and supporting materials can be found here.

Juliette Tennert is the director of economic and public policy research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.