Blog Post

Guest Insight: Utah Job Quality Report 2020

By Matthew Weinstein, Voices for Utah Children

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

In honor of Labor Day earlier this month, Voices for Utah Children released the Utah Job Quality Report 2020. The report examines the quality of jobs in Utah in terms of wages, work hours, non-standard employment, safety, and other job quality criteria.  The report compares Utah to the nation and to three neighboring states: Colorado, Idaho, and Nevada. 

The first part of the report, primarily researched by University of Utah economics graduate student Connor Hill, looks at wage growth since 2010 at different income levels based on two different sources: the federal surveys of employers and of residents. The results include the following charts, which show that Utahns at nearly every income level outperformed the nation for wage increases from 2010 to 2018:

The second part of the report introduces a new innovation in Utah economics: The Utah Job Quality Index, an idea envisioned and researched by University of Utah economics undergraduate student Matthew Gordon during his spring 2020 internship with Voices for Utah Children. This is, as far as we are aware, the first effort to create a comprehensive index that makes it possible to compare Utah to the nation and to other states in the quality of jobs according to six different dimensions comprising among them 14 different criteria of job quality. The report finds that Utah scores a 51.9 on the weighted Job Quality Ind