Fairbanks - 2008 Economic Report.doc
Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
STATE OF UTAH
Office of the Governor
Salt Lake City, Utah
Gary R. Herbert
Contact: Juliette Tennert
Chief Economist, Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
(801) 538-1550 office, (801) 647-8079 cell
2008 Economic Report to the Governor Shows
Continued Strong Economic Growth in Utah
Salt Lake City - Utah Governor Jon Huntsman accepted the 22nd annual Economic Report to
the Governor Thursday, touting Utah's continued strength.
"Utah's economy is the strongest in the nation," Governor Huntsman said. "In 2007, we've
experienced several record highs. Our state population is growing at record levels. Utah had the
nation's highest job growth rate. We have one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates. We are
well positioned for our future."
Utah's economy remained strong during 2007. For the fourth consecutive year, the State
outperformed the nation. Utah's job growth was the highest in the nation at 4.5%, compared to
1.3% nationally. Residential construction valuation and dwelling permits weakened from record
highs, but nonresidential construction vaiuaiion .cached new historic highs. Utah's home price
appreciation was the highest in the nation, one of only two states to experience double digit
appreciation when home prices have stagnated or declined across the nation. The value of energy
and mineral commodities produced in Utah remained near record levels, largely due to higher
prices rather than increased production.
"We experienced another year of great economic prosperity in 2007. An indicator of this is our
substantial employment growth. We added 55,000 jobs last year - that's over 150 jobs per day."
commented Juliette Tennert, Chief Economist.
Utah's economy is experiencing remarkable growth which will moderate in 2008. Employment
growth will be 3.2%, four times the national growth rate. Population growth will be 3.1% and
net in-migration will remain strong at 41,000 as Utah's economy continues to outperform the
national economy. The unemployment rate will remain below 3.0% due to a tight labor market.
Replicating the trend of the 1990s, for the fifth consecutive year, wages will increase faster than
inflation during 2008, thus improving Utah's standard of living. Construction employment
growth is expected to moderate due to a slowdown in single-family residential construction, but
nonresidential construction will remain at record highs due to continued business, religious, and