2017 Economic Report to the Governor
For over two decades, the Economic Report to the Governor has served as the preeminent data source on the Utah economy. The 2017 Economic Report to the Governor is the 29th annual publication in its series. It is a collaborative endeavor of the David Eccles School of Business and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and is prepared by the Utah Economic Council.
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 percent was above the state’s long-term average and among the strongest in the nation. Utah’s 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, with major projects across the state like the expansion of the Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, the expansion of the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, and a 1,700-acre solar plant in Delta.
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 – contributed to exceptionally strong job growth of 6.1 percent in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector over the past year. Utah’s population surpassed the 3 million milestone in 2016, with the highest annual growth in the nation of 2.0 percent. 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.
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