Blog Post

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.

Analysts at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute calculate that nearly 40 percent of Utah’s job growth since 2010 has occurred in the 25-mile stretch from Midvale to Pleasant Grove. That’s approximately 75,000 jobs and an annual growth rate exceeding 8 percent. By comparison, the state job growth rate, which is among the fastest in the nation, has been hovering around 3 percent for the past fiv