With companies like Autoliv, ATK, eBay, EA Sports, Disney, Oracle, Twitter and now Adobe having a large presence in Utah, our state continues to be a national leader in attracting new businesses.
From the reputation of creating hard workers to the beauty of our mountains, from a business-friendly tax code to a family-friendly culture, Utah offers employers much of what they are looking for as they decide on a landing place for growing their business.
Focusing heavily on supporting small businesses, the Northern Utah Chamber Coalition, made up of the Ogden/Weber, Davis, Cache and Brigham chambers of commerce, successfully teamed together for 2012 to form legislative priorities to ensure Utah continued to be a national leader in attracting new businesses. Those priorities were instrumental in helping Utah maintain its current enviable status.
With a common goal to work toward, each chamber was able to maintain its independent status to address the specific needs of each county. Such a coalition effort demonstrates how teamwork, along with a common goal, can produce results while continuing to address local needs.
It's the small businesses that ultimately create most of the new jobs in any economy. The Small Business Administration estimates that 65 percent of the new jobs created over the past 17 years were created by small businesses.
Utah ranks among the top in the nation in low unemployment rates (typically about one and a half to two percentage points lower than the national average), thanks largely to small businesses.
Coming out of the most recent recession, which began in the fourth quarter of 2007, when Utah began experiencing more job losses than job gains, we find the health services and education industries fared well during the recession and continues to fare well.
As industries, health services and education peaked in 2006 and 2007 due largely to the opening of the new Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. Also, there is little doubt the aging of the baby-boomer population will continue to contribute to this positive trend for new jobs in this industry.
For those looking for employment, the competition for jobs in the health services and education industries should be lighter than in other industries due mostly to the creation of new jobs.
Because many of the workers who lost their jobs during the recession withdrew from the labor force or migrated out of state, those looking for work today may find more opportunities than in the recent past. However, many of those unemployed workers retrained in skill sets -- such as leaving the construction industry to gain skills in health care -- and will compete for new jobs with a greater advantage than those who did not.
Looking at industry trends can help those seeking jobs to focus their education and skill acquisition on industries that will more likely result in finding the right job. For the foreseeable future, the health care sector will offer great opportunities while the construction industry will continue to struggle.
In the meantime, we can be grateful that Utah continues to be a leader in attracting new businesses, supporting small businesses and maintaining a low unemployment rate for those who desire to work.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.