Research Minute: Why Utah's Economy Makes the Grade

May 21, 2024

Each month, EDCUtah’s Research Minute highlights interesting economic development data and timely research insights. This month, we explore Utah’s economic outlook and national rankings.

The U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Utah as the best state in the nation for the second year in a row. Their “Best States” ranking uses thousands of data points across multiple categories to make their determination. Utah ranked in the top 15 states in low crime, education, healthcare, economy, fiscal stability, and infrastructure.

Utah receives recognition from other outlets as well. Utah ranked #1 for the 17th year in a row in economic outlook by Rich States Poor States. WalletHub ranked Utah as the #1 state to start a business in 2024, as well as the #2 best state economy. Why is the economy of Utah so successful, despite national and international economic and geopolitical worries?

Utah’s culture of innovation and hard work continues to be a boon for the state. According to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Utah has the highest labor force participation rate in the nation. Utah also has the ninth-lowest unemployment rate, the second-lowest poverty rate, and the second-highest median household income.  

Utah’s stellar job growth was the highest in the nation for a decade, growing at a staggering rate of 32.9 percent—more than double the national average. The state’s job growth dipped over the past year, but it's still the 11th fastest annual job growth in the nation. Utah has the youngest population in the nation by a wide margin, making it a great place for employers to find motivated and hardworking workers.

Businesses continue to see Utah's economy as a good investment. National and international companies like Campbell Soup Company, Delta Airlines, Nature’s Bakery, Proctor & Gamble, and Texas Instruments continue to expand in Utah, bringing thousands of high-quality jobs and billions in capital investment. And Utah’s business-friendly environment, commitment to fiscal responsibility, and high quality of life continue to make Utah a great place to live, work, and play.

Want more data like this? Explore the benefits of investing with EDCUtah.

Data Source: JobsEQ, unless otherwise noted.

Michael Stachitus

Director of Research