Tuesday, Utah officials and business representatives gathered in Salt Lake City to celebrate the completion of a job-creation goal more than three years in the making.
In 2012, Gov. Gary Herbert set a statewide goal to create 100,000 jobs in just 1,000 days, pushing specifically for private sector job creation. The deadline recently passed and the state not only reached the audacious goal, but surpassed it with 112,000 created jobs.
Utah has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation and a strong job growth rate of 3.6 percent. Marty Carpenter, communications director for Governor Herbert’s office, said Utah’s economy is growing in every private sector area.
He said Utah’s economic diversity is what makes it strong and competitive.
“We don’t have all of our economic eggs in one basket, so to speak,” Carpenter said. “[That] helps us be a little more recession-proof or any kind of slow in the economy, we’re a little more protected from that because we have not only growth in all those areas, but we have a broader spectrum of industries that are here in our state.”
Utah’s economy is the fourth most-diverse in the country.
Carpenter said that though this long-term goal has been accomplished, the governor continues to have his sights fixed on improving the state’s future economic condition.
He said Utah still faces major hurdles for unemployment such as closing the skills gap to fill jobs that have been created and improving education.
“We have a lot of computer engineering, software engineering, coding jobs, these high-tech field jobs where businesses are ready to grow, they’re ready to add employees, they just need to have the right people to plug into those jobs,” Carpenter said.
The largest sector of growth over the 1,000 day period was in construction, with a 20 percent increase in jobs.