News Release

Defense industry contributes $19.3 billion to Utah economy

September 2, 2021 (Salt Lake City) – Utah’s defense industry is an integral component of the state’s diverse economy, according to the latest report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The industry contributes over $19 billion in economic activity, supporting 211,000 jobs and growing nearly twofold since 2015. Growth at Hill Air Force Base, in Veteran services, and in contract awards account for the most significant share of activity.

“Federal spending in Utah has increased significantly in recent years, warranting updated research to measure the sector’s impact on the state’s economy,” said Joshua Spolsdoff, senior research analyst at the Gardner Institute and lead author of the report. “Our research clearly shows Utah’s defense industry is a major building block of the state’s well-diversified economy.”

Key findings from the report include the following:

  • Share of the Economy – In 2019, Utah’s defense sector directly and indirectly supported 10.3% of the state’s employment, 9.5% of its personal income, and 10.6% of its gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Growth – The defense sector’s total economic impacts increased nearly twofold since 2015, increasing by 102,000 jobs and $9.1 billion in inflation-adjusted GDP.
  • Major entities – Of the $4.4 billion in defense contracts in Utah, $3.3 billion (76%) went to 10 contractors. Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, and Moog Inc. were the three largest entities, accounting for