UTAH COUNTY— Utah County is one of the fastest job and population growing areas, ranking eighth nationwide according to U.S. Census data.
From 2000 to 2010, Utah County employment grew 47.1 percent, CNN said, citing expansions of IM Flash Technologies and Overstock.com as contributing factors. The area is also attracting a new cyber-security center for the National Security Agency and an Adobe office.
The NSA facility brought 10,000 new construction jobs after its groundbreaking in January and will house up to 700 full-time employees upon completion.
In a similar report, Arizona State University ranked the state of Utah’s job growth as the fifth-best in the nation from June 2010 to June 2011. Utah jobs increased by 2 percent, double the national average, the report said. In 2010, 23,500 jobs were created. Utah professional and business service sectors, which added 7,800 jobs year over year, ranked fourth according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
“Your state is growing in a diversified sort of way,” Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the university’s W.P. Carey School of Business, told the Salt Lake Tribune. “A lot of states would be envious of being in that situation right now.”
Though jobs are springing up in Utah, the state is running into problems with job deficits, or the difference between the number of unemployed persons and the number of job openings.
Though Utah’s unemployment rate of 7.4 percent is below the national average of 9.1 percent, the state has the 8th largest jobs deficit. It would take 10.9 percent more jobs to climb out, according to CNN.
Utah has seen its working age population expand by 6.7 percent due to children entering the labor force and employee migration into the state, Pamela Perlich, senior research economist, Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah, told CNN.
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