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Utah's IT employment rises 2.22% while the nation's drops

Published: Thursday, June 28 2012 9:21 p.m. MDT

Dr. Yoky Matsuoka delivers the annual Gould Lecture on Technology and Quality of Life in September 2010 on the University of Utah campus. The spike in the technology industry in Utah tops many other states.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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The state of Utah has proven to outshine other states in recovering employment and growth in the technology industry. While the nation's IT employment dropped 1.5 percent in 2010, Utah's grew by 2.22 percent according to the Utah Technology Council.

In 2010, Utah's technology businesses were 20.1 percent higher than the nation's per capita at 13.7 percent, said the report.

In 2009 to 2010, Utah's clean technology industry growth jumped from 997 establishments to 1,013. The five other Western states — California, Arizona, Washington, Colorado and Oregon — all decreased in establishments in 2010, according to the Utah Technology Council.

In 2011, Utah had more than 7,000 companies in the technology industry, which includes IT, life sciences and clean technology industry. The growth in companies and entrepreneurial talent are two reasons there is a continued upward growth, according to Richard R. Nelson, founder and CEO of the Utah Technology Council.

He also credits Utah having a business-friendly legislator and governor as well as fundamentally changing its capital structure after a bill the Utah Technology Council was able to pass in 2003.

"Factually we have such a standout group of companies of entrepreneurs and growing companies," he said. "Now you will see that we've moved some of those start-ups into the 20 to 100 or 20 to 200 employee category."

In a closer look, Salt Lake County is home to 52.9 percent of the technology-based industries, and Utah County comes in second at 20.5 percent, according to data collected by the Utah Department of Workforce Service from the report.

Email: ehong@desnews.com

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