Is Utah Recession-Proof?

The consensus among economists and business leaders is that a recession will start late this year or early next. The Biden administration has rejected this point of view, but not with much support.

Recessions do not blanket the United States all at once. Presumably, some cities in the southwest that already have very high unemployment will be harmed early. Most of these high unemployment areas also have low-income households, which will be unable to bear the burden of rapidly rising prices of basic expenses.

In some cities, unemployment is below 2%, compared to the national number of 3.6%. Mankato-North Mankato and Rochester, both in Minnesota, have rates of 1.3%. Most other cities with low rates are in states further west.

Every city in Utah, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, had a rate of 2.3% or lower. In Logan and Provo, the figures were well below 2%.

Utah has an advantage in its job market. It is dominated by government, health care and high-tech industry employment. None of these is likely to suffer big layoffs. That means that, statewide, unemployment will remain well below the national average, no matter how high that national figure goes.

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