On August 3rd, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute director Natalie Gochnour presented at the Utah Rural Summit in Cedar City, Utah. The topic: Rural Utah revitalization and a new economic path forward.
The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute has called the economic disparity between parts of rural Utah and urban Utah as “A tale of two Utahs.” Since before the Great Recession in 2007 until today, we have 11 rural counties whose economies have actually contracted in terms of the number of jobs.
We also have four rural Utah counties currently with unemployment rates in excess of 6.5 percent. Of these, Garfield, Wayne and San Juan Counties have unemployment rates that exceed 7.5 percent. A high percentage of people in these counties are unable to find jobs to support themselves and their families. Just as a comparison, the unemployment rate today in Salt Lake County is 3.4 percent and in the country is 4.4 percent.
Read more about current economic trends, as well as a proposal for a rural Utah “Marshall Plan” to target investment and create economic opportunity for the entire state.