Population Increase in Utah Provides Opportunities to Employers
St. George, Utah is the fastest growing metro-area in the nation according to the US Census Bureau, with total population growth of 4.0% between July 2016 and July 2017. In addition, Wasatch County, only 45 minutes east of Salt Lake City, is the third fastest growing county in the nation at 5.0%. But it isn’t just an increase of natural growth—the difference between births and deaths in a region—that is causing this impressive growth; people are flocking in from all over the country and the world to find their own little piece of Utah to call home, providing Utah employers additional talent in this tight labor market.
According to the US Census Bureau, 85.5% of population growth in St. George and the surrounding area is a result of migration from other states and countries. The majority of migration into the area between 2011 and 2015 came from Southern California, the surrounding states of Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming, as well as a surprising amount of immigration from the North Eastern United States. Recently, however, migration into St. George has shifted from retirees to students, young working professionals, and those seeking desert adventures.
Immigration from Latin America has also greatly shaped the demographics of the Utah workforce and school systems, with Salt Lake City and other metropolitan areas in the State continuing to grow more diverse. “Utah is attracting outside talent and people from diverse backgrounds” notes Matt Hilburn, the Vice President of Research and Marketing for EDCUtah. “This all works toward making Utah a more vibrant community, which facilitates additional economic growth and prosperity.”
These demographic shifts provide important opportunities for employers who are looking to expand their business. Combined with the educational opportunities Utah has to offer, Salt Lake City, St. George, and the rapidly growing cities nearby have become hubs of opportunity for employees and employers alike, a combination that, as Hilburn states, is “good for everyone.”
On top of the benefits of accessing the new Utah workforce, the increase in people moving to Utah proves one other important thing to employers; Utah is the place to be. “Utah’s positive net migration tells us people are drawn to the State,” says Hilburn. “Once they move here, they want to stay.”