Research Weekly - Utah Beats Competing States for Most Productive Employees
In 2015, the Utah Foundation in conjunction with EDCUtah, reached out to Utah companies who also have a presence in other states to discover the differences between employees at their various locations. The companies were asked to rank employees from each of their locations utilizing a number of metrics, including the productivity, education, and turnover of these employees. In December 2015, the Utah Foundation published their findings in a research report: “Is this the Place?”
Of the companies with a presence in Utah and at least one other state, 59% described Utah as having the most productive employees. 94% described their Utah employees as being “as productive as” or “more productive than” their other locations. This was an exciting statistical confirmation of the oft-cited statement that Utah’s labor force has a strong work ethic. Additionally, respondents identified this strong work ethic as the best quality of Utah’s workforce.
Other interesting findings of the study included Utah’s highly educated workforce and low turnover rate, with 90% of companies indicating that Utah labor is “as educated as” or “more educated than” their other locations, and 79% of companies indicating that turnover in Utah is “as good as” or “better than” their other locations.
When asked what the worst quality was for Utah’s labor force, companies responded that there isn’t enough of it! Because the state has experienced such high levels of job growth over recent years (as high as 4.5% year-over-year), Utah has experienced a statewide unemployment rate in the low 3-4% range. While this is very good for the labor force, it does shrink the available labor pool making it more difficult for companies to find qualified labor to fill their open positions. High levels of population growth, in-migration, and large quantities of students graduating each year from Utah’s colleges are beginning to alleviate this problem, as Utah just reached a healthy unemployment rate of 3.8% in May 2016.
To read more about the joint EDCUtah & Utah Foundation survey click here!