Why Manufacturing Companies Need Utah on Their Radar
Photo: ENVE Composites manufactures carbon fiber bike parts in Ogden, Utah.
It should be no surprise that Utah—known as the “beehive state”—is busy climbing the ranks as one of the best states for manufacturing. Utah consistently attracts business expansions due to its busy-bee workforce and quality of life. If your company is expanding or looking to relocate, Utah needs to be on your radar.
To put it simply, manufacturing drives Utah’s economy. Utah is one of the best states in the nation for manufacturing with an employee base of 190,000. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah manufacturing output grew from less than $10 billion in 2000 to $17.47 billion in 2014. SmartAsset recently ranked the Ogden-Clearfield metro area as one of the top 10 "Best Places to Work in Manufacturing." Companies from Boeing to Autoliv have found success with their manufacturing facilities in Utah.
In addition, Utah has a young and educated workforce with one of the highest population growth rates in the nation. Utah’s manufacturing and distribution industry has experienced employment growth of over 11 percent in the past five years. The median age in Utah is 30.7 while the average wage is $43,550, which is 10 percent lower than the nation. Utah’s workforce is young, bright and ready to get to work. In fact, there are over 210,000 students enrolled in higher education across 12 major colleges and universities. Utah’s abundant applied technology colleges ensure that the demand for employees will be met as distribution grows over the next few years. Finally, Utah has the third lowest unionization rate in the country at 3.9 percent as a right-to-work state.
From a geographic standpoint, Utah is a hub to all major western cities and states without the west coast expenses. Two major interstates (I-80 and I-15) and all three major rail lines leaving Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles ports meet in Salt Lake City. In addition, Salt Lake City International Airport services daily nonstop flights to 19 of the top 20 busiest airports in the nation, including nonstop international flights to Europe, Mexico, and Canada.
Utah’s future is bright due to steadfast support from the pro-business government and community. From 2012 to 2015, Utah’s post-performance tax incentives introduced nearly 25,000 jobs and more than $2.5 billion in investment. Even energy costs are cheaper in Utah, with expenses 26 percent below the national average and the third lowest in the U.S.
Currently, many manufacturing companies have capitalized on Utah for their expansions. Food manufacturer Litehouse Inc. will expand its operations in Hurricane, adding up to 165 jobs and $40 million in capital investment. Whitewave Foods will introduce 105 jobs with $70 million in capital investment to a yet-to-be-disclosed location in Utah.
Fiscally, it just makes sense to the State of Utah. The corporate income tax, average state and local combined sales tax rate and property tax are all significantly less when compared to other markets across the country.
When it comes to manufacturing, Utah truly is the place to be.