Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is Your Town Growing?

U.S. Census Bureau releases 2016 City Population Estimates

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time” –Patrick Geddes

Most of Utah’s cities and towns grew in 2017, according to population estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Lehi even ranked 11th among the nation’s fastest-growing large cities. However, not all Utah’s cities and towns experienced growth.

Use the visualization and bullet points below to explore population trends for individual townships.

• The old Geneva Steel Mill site continues to be fertile ground for population expansion. Vineyard was once again the fastest growing city in Utah. However its rate of growth has slowed dramatically since 2015. In addition, Vineyard remains relatively small in size.

• Herriman added the highest number of new residents of any city in Utah (4,550) followed by Orem, Lehi and South Jordan. All showed higher population gains than Salt Lake City — Utah’s most populous city. Herriman also showed the second-fastest rate of expansion in 2016.

• St. George was the only city outside the Wasatch Front to increase its population by more than 2,000 residents.

• The top four population-gaining cities in Utah are all located in southern Salt Lake County or northern Utah County, as the metropolitan population continued to spread outward from the large city centers. Fastest-growing larger communities also tended to be located near the Salt Lake County/Utah County border.

• Due to the nature of percent-change mathematics, several small towns (such as Monticello, Mantua, Francis, Interlaken and Hideout) showed high growth rates although their new-resident counts measured relatively low.

• The Census Bureau estimates that most of the cities and towns showing population declines were located in the Uintah Basin, Carbon County and Emery County. Declines in resource-based employment have spearheaded these population declines.

• In addition, Millard, Piute, Garfield and Wayne counties displayed a significant number of contracting townships.

• Salt Lake County remains home to five of the 10 largest cities in the state. Utah County accounts for another two in the top 10. St. George is the only city in the top-10 ranking located outside the Wasatch Front.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Understanding Utah’s Future Skill and Knowledge Needs

The Utah Department of Workforce Services releases Skill and Knowledge-based Projections

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” Wilbur Wright

The following skill and knowledge projections suggest that the foundation for future workforce preparation relies on those old favorites “readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic.” Technical skills and knowledge areas are also important, but rely on an excellent foundation in basic skill and knowledge areas.

• Utah occupational projections and the Occupational Information Network (O*Net) provide the foundation for these skills and knowledge estimates.

• “Basic Skills” dominate the top 10 in-demand skills, suggesting a need to ensure training on “the basics” for all prospective workers.

• Basic skills needs cross occupational and educational boundaries. • Basic skills make changing occupations possible as the labor market changes.

• Communication skills and reading rank highest on the top skills list, followed by critical thinking. • The top five skill and knowledge areas are the same for every region of the state.

• The top 10 in-demand skills change very little regardless of the occupational training level.

• Customer Service ranks, by far, as the knowledge area with the highest projected demand.

• For occupations requiring formal training past the high school level, competence in English, computers/electronics, and mathematics becomes increasingly important — although these skills are in demand for employment at all training levels.

• Short-term shortages for certain technical skills may seem to displace the overarching need for all workers to have a strong foundation in basic skills in training discussions.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Utah's Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for all Utah counties have been posted online here.

Each month, these rates are posted the Monday following the Unemployment Rate Update for Utah.

For more information about seasonally adjusted rates, read a DWS analysis here.

Next update scheduled for June 19th.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Utah's Employment Situation for April 2017

Utah's Employment Situation for April 2017 has been released on the web.

Find the Current Economic Situation in its entirety here.

For charts and tables, including County Employment, go to the Employment and Unemployment page.

Next update scheduled for June 16th, 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Tax Incentives for new Washington County jobs

The Governor's Office of Economic Development board approved almost $350,000 in post-performance tax-credit rebates to Litehouse, Inc., a food-manufacturing company based in Sandpoint, Idaho Litehouse plans on spending $40 million to expand a facility in Hurricane, creating 165 new jobs over the next eight years. Litehouse's expansion is expected to generate $1.7 million in corporate, sales and payroll taxes. Salt Lake Tribune

SUU breaks ground on new business building

Southern Utah University broke ground for its new 42,000-square-foot business Thursday. But the start of the construction for the long anticipated $16 million project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the community. Obtaining the necessary funding required a unique partnership between SUU officials and both local and statewide legislators.

The new two-story open floor plan building will be constructed in the parking lot north of the Sharwan Smith Center on Center Street. It will feature 15 classrooms rooms, breakout/study rooms, advanced computer labs, advising suites, faculty offices and a flight simulator. Preliminary plans also include an entrepreneurship center where students and community members can “envision, design, create and launch” a new business. The Spectrum

Zion, Bryce combined to bring $445 million to southwest Utah

Tourism to southwest Utah’s national parks and monuments brought more than $1 billion to the local economy in 2016, according to report issued by the National Parks Service. A combined 7.6 million visitors spent an estimated $506 million while visiting Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Pipe Springs National Monument, supporting nearly 7,300 jobs across southwestern Utah, according to the annual peer-reviewed economic analysis. The Spectrum

Kanab Creekside subdivision gets third preliminary plat approval

The long dormant Creekside subdivision was given its third preliminary plat approval in the last 10 years with a three to one vote by the Kanab City Council. The major subdivision is located on 39.95 acres of vacant land between the Kanab Creek and Escalante Dr. and Willow and Vance Dr., just east of the Kanab Creek Ranchos subdivision.  The parcel is zoned R-1-8 and the long term plans call for stick-built housing on up to 77 lots. The developer’s plans call for phasing in the housing segments, starting with six lots along the existing paved road.  They are planning to build their first home this summer.  Outside contractors will also be allowed to build on the Dennett owned lots. Southern Utah News

My Place announces St. George expansion

My Place Hotels of America will continue its U.S. expansion with its third extended stay hotel in Utah, a four-story building to be located on the northwest corner of 1670 South and 270 East near Culver's in St. George, according to a company news release Tuesday. The 63-room hotel, which will feature a first-of-a-kind exterior design with a southwestern color palette, is scheduled to open by November. The Spectrum