Salt Lake City – Utah Governor Jon Huntsman accepted the 22nd annual Economic Report to the Governor Thursday, touting Utah’s continued strength.
“Utah’s economy is the strongest in the nation,” Governor Huntsman said. “In 2007, we’ve experienced several record highs. Our state population is growing at record levels. Utah had the nation’s highest job growth rate. We have one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates. We are well positioned for our future.”
Utah’s economy remained strong during 2007. For the fourth consecutive year, the State outperformed the nation. Utah’s job growth was the highest in the nation at 4.5%, compared to 1.3% nationally. Residential construction valuation and dwelling permits weakened from record highs, but nonresidential construction valuation reached new historic highs. Utah’s home price appreciation was the highest in the nation, one of only two states to experience double digit appreciation when home prices have stagnated or declined across the nation. The value of energy and mineral commodities produced in Utah remained near record levels, largely due to higher prices rather than increased production.
“We experienced another year of great economic prosperity in 2007. An indicator of this is our substantial employment growth. We added 55,000 jobs last year – that’s over 150 jobs per day.” commented Juliette Tennert, Chief Economist.
Utah’s economy is experiencing remarkable growth which will moderate in 2008. Employment growth will be 3.2%, four times the national growth rate. Population growth will be 3.1% and net in-migration will remain strong at 41,000 as Utah’s economy continues to outperform the national economy. The unemployment rate will remain below 3.0% due to a tight labor market. Replicating the trend of the 1990s, for the fifth consecutive year, wages will increase faster than inflation during 2008, thus improving Utah’s standard of living. Construction employment growth is expected to moderate due to a slowdown in single-family residential construction, but nonresidential construction will remain at record highs due to continued business, religious, and government projects.
The Economic Report to the Governor is the preeminent source of information about Utah’s economy. The report provides information to elected officials, business leaders, and citizens, which highlights Utah’s economic conditions of the past, present, and future. The Council of Economic Advisors provides guidance for the contents of the report.
The executive summary and full report can be found on the Governor’s website at http://governor.utah.gov/dea/ERG/2008ERG.pdf.