Strong First Quarter Results for Utah’s Construction Sector

May 18, 2016

By: James Wood

The latest data show strong first quarter results for Utah’s construction sector. The value of construction in Utah in the first quarter of 2016 was $1.87 billion, only two percent below the all-time high of $1.91 billion (inflation adjusted dollars) in 2007 (See Table 1). The full report for the first quarter of 2016 can be viewed here. Read More


The Gateway Re-Imagined: A new owner promises to restore vibrancy to the drooping property

May 16, 2016

By: Natalie Gochnour

Originally published in Utah Business

When my daughter got her driver’s license, I remember asking her if she could find her way around town. She turned to me with a confident smile and said, “I know how to get to The Gateway.”

Her answer spoke volumes. A 16-year-old, newly minted driver who lived in the suburbs of Salt Lake City knew the directions to a downtown shopping destination eight miles away. The Gateway was THE place to go, and she had found it. Read More

Engagement is the right path for US-Cuba relations

Engagement is the right path for US-Cuba relations

May 9, 2016

By: Natalie Gochnour

Originally published in the Deseret News

This week, a Carnival cruise ship left Miami, crossed the Florida Straits and docked in Havana, Cuba. Over 700 passengers stepped off the ship into a socialist country that has endured a half century of Cold War hostility. If these visitors are anything like me, they left with a love for the Cuban people and a renewed commitment to strengthen ties with this extraordinary place. Read More


Crossroads of the West stands strong

April 15, 2016

By: Natalie Gochnour

Originally published in the Deseret News

About 1,400 small-business owners, entrepreneurs, business executives and community leaders will gather at the Grand America Hotel on Friday for the 10th annual Governor’s Economic Summit. It will be a celebration of sorts, as the Utah economy continues to impress. The Beehive State created nearly 45,000 jobs over the past year and is in its sixth year of solid economic growth. The Crossroads of the West stands strong. Read More

Rising Rents and Sluggish Incomes Squeeze Renters

Rising Rents and Sluggish Incomes Squeeze Renters

April 14, 2016

By: James Wood

For some time, increases in rental rates have outpaced gains in renter’s income.  Rental rates are being pushed up by unusually strong demand for apartment living.  The housing market has responded with a boom in construction of high quality, high-priced units.  Nearly 20,000 apartment units have been completed in the past five years.  The typical 1000 square foot, two-bedroom, two bath unit in a new apartment community rents for around $1,300. In a popular rental market such as Salt Lake City’s downtown rental market or the Sugarhouse market, rents will be at least $200 higher for a similar size unit. Read More


Choosing Physicians – More Information Is Better

April 6, 2016

By: Anna Bergevin

In graduate school, I took a class on health economics where I learned about many of the barriers and challenges providers and consumers face in health care markets. Often in such conversations the notion of information asymmetry is raised. Information asymmetry refers to the imbalance in information between consumers and providers. In health care, providers (hospitals & physicians) have better information regarding the product (medical services) than the consumer does. Markets function better when we can reduce such asymmetries. Read More

life in the gap

Life in the Gap

March 31, 2016

By: Ken Embley

As we witness the craziness of our presidential nominating processes, citizens try to find someone who can lead America through tough times.  Collectively, we might have questions.  What is leadership?  Where does a call for leadership come?  Why might a particular candidate emerge as the leader?  Who identifies leaders?  These and similar questions are all about life in the gap. Read More


Beyond Fertility: Utah’s population is not just homegrown

March 17, 2016

By: Dr. Pamela Perlich, Ph.D.

The population of Utah recently surpassed 3 million. This milestone has been achieved as a result of the combination of positive natural increase, with the annual number births consistently exceeding deaths, and significant net in-migration, especially since 1990. People who follow population issues in Utah are well aware of the state’s signature demographics, which include the highest fertility rate and youngest median age among all states. It was quite fitting that Governor Herbert recognized this milestone while standing in a maternity ward.  Read More

Successful Budgeting A Collaboration of the Western United States

Successful Budgeting: A Collaboration of the Western United States

March 8, 2016

By: Dr. Jennifer Robinson, Ph.D.

The California Journal of Politics and Policy publishes, in cooperation with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the Western State Budget Reports each year.  In these reports, you can read about how Alaska changed the oil tax, how several states have legalized marijuana and the effect on revenue, and what states have yet to recover from the Great Recession. The reports are authored by faculty from 14 universities in the west, representing Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Read More


A Look Back at Washington County’s Housing Bubble

March 4, 2016

By: James Wood

The recently completed annual St. George Area Parade of Homes had the second highest attendance in its 26-year history.  Only the 2007 parade, at the peak of the real estate boom, had more attendees.  Judging from the crowds and the home prices there’s no trace of the Great Recession in the local real estate market.  The 28 homes in this year’s parade included 13 homes priced over $1 million with the highest priced home topping out at $ 4 million. Four years ago, only 3 of the 28 homes in the parade were priced above $1 million. Read More