Inside Sources: Salt Lake economy firing on all pistons

Apr 16, 2021, 5:12 PM
Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Derek Miller and Patricia Jones, CEO of the Women's Leadership Institute, speak during a press conference on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo: Marisa Bomis / Salt Lake Chamber)
(Photo: Marisa Bomis / Salt Lake Chamber)

SALT LAKE CITY — Once again, when it comes to strong muscles in its economy, Salt Lake City is punching above its weight when compared to other U.S. cities.

Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Derek Miller joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson Friday to break down a new Wall Street Journal survey showing the Salt Lake City area with the best job market in the nation in 2020.

The WSJ article published April 9 reads: 

“Salt Lake City has top-notch ski resorts, challenging bike trails and breathtaking views of the Wasatch Mountains. It also is home to the hottest job market in the U.S.

As the pandemic raged through the U.S. in 2020, no metropolitan area in the country expanded the size of its labor force more on a percentage basis than Utah’s capital. It also had the lowest average unemployment rate and the highest share of people working or looking for jobs. These signs of strength helped it rank first among 53 large metro areas in an annual examination of U.S. labor markets conducted by The Wall Street Journal, after ranking No. 4 in 2019.”

Hardworking Utahns make economy strong

“Why is it that we are attracting so much talent, so much investment, especially as we have gone through the pandemic?” Matheson asked. “What is truly driving these things?”

“In some ways it was the pandemic itself that caused […] Utah to continue to rise to the top,” Miller said. “We always say that the cream rises to the top, and that happens when we have challenges, and certainly this past year has been just that, not just on the health side but on the economic side.”

Miller cited five factors as driving Utah’s economic climate to excellence:

  • Stable tax rates,
  • predictable regulation,
  • talented workforce
  • colleges, universities and applied technology
  • and hardworking people

Boyd added that Salt Lake City has a new airport and a inland port in development to help the economy further succeed.

Keep moving up and up

“I want to ask you about some of the people who maybe towards the bottom rungs of the economic ladder or those who had to switch to lower paying jobs during the pandemic,” Matheson said. “How’s the opportunity and the rise working for them?” 

“Upward mobility is another area where we’re top in the country, which is why so many people want to move here for opportunity,” Miller said. “You have a better chance of moving up the economic ladder in Utah than anywhere else in the country. We need to make sure that continues, otherwise we’re going to see some of the divisiveness come to our doorstep that we’re seeing in other parts of the country.”

Next is Now: What’s next for our economy? 

“I want to know what you’re looking for next,” Matheson said. “What’s on the horizon that maybe we aren’t paying enough attention to that we should really start focusing on?” 

Miller said he expects Utah to continue to receive federal money as President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill works its way through Congress.

“Utah is in a very good position because we didn’t have to backfill a lot of lack of tax revenue,” Miller said. “In fact, in some areas, like retail sales tax, we actually had banner year that puts Utah in a very good position to invest some of this [federal] money in areas that will keep our quality of life strong into the future.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson, who is also the opinion editor of the Deseret News, can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

Inside Sources

Inflation caused gas to skyrocket....
Curt Gresseth

Sen. Mitt Romney talks inflation and economy

High home and gas prices and inflation, are causing real hardships for Utahns and Democrats will be blamed by voters, Sen. Mitt Romney told Inside Sources.
26 days ago
cheeseburger inflation...
Curt Gresseth

Why does my cheeseburger cost so much? Most ingredients touched by inflation.

A reporter joined the show and walked us through the reasons that popular cheeseburger ingredients have jumped in price since March of 2021.
29 days ago
A Utah woman shadowed lawmakers...
Curt Gresseth

Utah woman shadowed lawmakers to ease her political rage

Frustrated and angry with politics, a Utah woman shadowed state lawmakers to gain a better understanding of the process and to lower her own political rage.
1 month ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

What’s the holdup on my tax refund?

A tax expert talked to Inside Sources about new duties given to the IRS and why your tax refund is taking so long to arrive.
2 months ago
Homeless persons sit in a closed business on North Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 6, 20...
Curt Gresseth

Everyone can do something to help, says advocate for homeless in Utah

Utah homeless advocated Pamela Atkinson said there are actions we can all take to help provide assistance to the unsheltered.
2 months ago
A U.S. plan takes off. An adjunct philosophy professor says a no-fly zone in Ukraine could spark WW...
Curt Gresseth

Why a no-fly zone over Ukraine would ignite WWIII

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean U.S. warplanes shooting down Russian fighter jets and that would lead to World War III, says a magazine columnist and philosophy professor.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Inside Sources: Salt Lake economy firing on all pistons