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So far Nick Thiriot has created 848 blog entries.

The next 50 years will be a test of community leadership for a growing Utah County

By: Natalie Gochnour Originally published in the Deseret News The numbers are hard to ignore. A mountain of economic and demographic data as high as Mount Timpanogos shows Utah County on the rise. Economic, demographic and political power are shifting south, and Utah’s second largest county is the epicenter of growth and change in the Beehive State. The only question is are we ready? The state’s most recent employment report shows Utah County’s economy growing at more than twice the state average and nearly three times the national average. This isn’t a surprise given the extraordinary tech-sector job growth currently occurring along the Silicon Slopes corridor and the rapid population growth in northern Utah County and west of Utah Lake. […]

In our opinion: Utah, America must avoid a demographic winter

Utahns are marrying later, having fewer children than in the past and delaying when they are having their children, according to an analysis by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The change appears to be driven by economic factors that include income levels, an increase in housing prices, student debt and education and work [...]

Why are Utah women delaying child birth? Research also reveals Mormon family trends

Her mother and older sister each got married at 20, but Aliska Julian was busy nurturing a love of social justice and travel at that age. At 25, in between trips to Kenya to run the nonprofit she started with her mom, Julian met an entrepreneur named Nate while dancing to ’80s covers at Liquid [...]

Lessons learned from Washington, D.C.

By: Natalie Gochnour Originally published in the Deseret News I visited our nation’s capital last week with a delegation of community leaders from the Salt Lake Chamber. The chamber puts on a remarkable program, including face time with members of the Utah Congressional Delegation, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, the Secretary of the Air Force and [...]

Experts plead with Utah County leaders to plan strategically for immense growth that is coming

“It’s not your grandmother’s county anymore. It’s not your grandfather’s county anymore.” With these words, Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, set the tone for the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce 2017 Executive Summit Monday at Sundance Mountain Resort. “Growth will be your constant companion. You are going to change,” Gochnour [...]

September Economic Summary

The Utah economy remains healthy. Every major industrial sector expanded in 2016, contributing a total of 49,500 new jobs over the year. An annual employment growth rate of 3.6% was above the state’s long-term average and among the strongest in the nation. In 2016, Utah’s construction sector posted the highest job growth with 6.8%.

Which counties rely the most on Utah’s $8.4B tourism industry for jobs?

Daggett and Garfield counties may be on opposite sides of the state, but they have one thing in common — more than half of their jobs (54 percent) are provided by private leisure and hospitality companies. It’s not that much different in Grand, Kane and Summit counties, where upwards of 40 percent of all private-sector [...]

August Economic Summary

Utah’s nonagricultural employment increased an estimated 2.5%, or 36,300 jobs, between July 2016 and July 2017. Nationally, employment increased 1.5%, or 2.2 million jobs, between July 2016 and July 2017. Unemployment—Utah’s unemployment rate was 3.5% in July 2017, slightly higher than the July 2016 rate of 3.4%. The national unemployment rate was 4.3% in July [...]

The monumental battle over the West

BOULDER, Garfield County — If the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are shrunk, Blake Spalding says it will be the hammer likely to nail the doors shut on her nationally recognized restaurant. After all, the Hell's Backbone Grill is named for the narrow, 9,000-foot elevation spine along the monument's Aquarius Plateau and in [...]

The Economics of Public Lands

By: Jennifer Robinson A new article in Land Economics examines the fiscal implications of transferring public lands from the federal government to the states.  This article notes that federal land management has always been contentious – just think of the Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s.  In recent years, there has been an increase in demands [...]