ICEL Recap: Utah Economic Update
by McKell Vedaa, CBF, Nicholas & Company
The August ICEL meeting was one for the books. Robert Spendlove covered the economics of Utah and amazed us all with his vast knowledge. He covered job growth, unemployment, spending, saving, housing, national debt and so much more.
Utah’s economy is very strong, and we are the envy of the nation when you look at the numbers. While most states have lost jobs since March of 2020, Utah has added almost an additional 29,000 since the pandemic hit. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates, highest labor force participation and are just behind Nevada in our economic growth.
Not only is our economy doing well, but the population of Utah is also the fastest growing in the United States over the last decade which has contributed to the rising cost of owning a home. Utah’s home prices have increased 8.7% faster than the rest of the United States and home values out pace the nation by $171,663.
Looking at the national level at how the pandemic has affected employment, he showed us the large loss in jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry and how there has been a shift in labor force participation. While most age groups are getting back to work, the Boomer category of 55 and older are not returning back to the work force as quickly, if ever. The pandemic lead to an increase in personal savings and lowered spending but as the nation opened up, we have seen those numbers start to normalize again.
There was so much information packed into this amazing, eye-opening meeting. It showed us just how great the State of Utah really is and how the pandemic has affected our nation in a way we have never seen before.