Tech industry accounted for one in seven jobs in Utah in 2018, report shows

New research from the Gardner Institute details economic and fiscal impact of Utah’s tech economy

Newswise — July 30, 2019 (Salt Lake City) – Utah’s tech industry made significant contributions to the state economy in 2018, supporting one in seven Utah jobs and one-sixth of worker earnings in the state. The economic activity generated over $2.5 billion in tax revenue to help fund schools and other government services.

“In terms of total employment and wages in the private sector, no state with an economy of Utah’s size had a larger tech industry in 2018,” said Levi Pace, senior research economist at the Gardner Institute and lead author of the report. “While we focus on jobs and earnings of the tech industry itself, our research also explores the workforce in tech occupations, regardless of industry. This comprehensive approach results in a first of its kind and landmark report on Utah’s tech economy that will help industry leaders and policy makers make informed decisions.” 

The report builds upon preliminary and summary results released earlier in the year by the Gardner Institute and includes updated figures for 2018, fiscal impacts of tax revenue generated by the tech economy, an analysis of tech-related industries, profiles of tech occupations and tech worker demographics, and a closer look at how Utah’s tech sector growth compares to other states. Highlights from the new report include:

  • One in seven Utah jobs – In 2018, tech companies provided 118,600 high-paying jobs in Utah. Adding employment the tech industry generated in other industries throughout the state, its total economic impact of 310,500 jobs exceeded 15 percent of Utah employment.
  • $2.5 billion in tax revenue – Tech companies and their employees paid or indirectly generated $1.7 billion in state taxes and $0.8 billion in local taxes during 2018.
  • Tech-skilled workforce – Utah’s entrepreneurial workforce gravitates towards tech jobs more than do workers in most other states. Utah’s tech industry accounted for 6.4 percent of the state’s employees in 2018, fifth-highest in the U.S. and well above the 4.4 percent nationwide average.
  • Ten-year job growth – From 2008 to 2018, Utah’s tech industry job growth was 4.9 percent per year, the third-highest in the country.

“We live in a time of dramatic technological change that impacts all facets of our lives,” said Gardner Institute director and associate dean Natalie Gochnour. “Utah’s tech sector stands at the forefront of this change not only providing jobs and income for Utah families, but bringing innovative products and services to a global economy and making Utah a center of innovation.”

A Tech Industry Advisory Council, with participation from three Utah trade associations – Silicon Slopes, Utah Technology Council, and Women Tech Council – as well as the Utah’ Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Economic Development Corporation of Utah contributed to this research by providing data, haring expertise, and reviewing results. The Utah Legislature funded the research.

The full report is now available online.

ABOUT THE KEM C. GARDNER POLICY INSTITUTE

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute serves Utah by preparing economic, demographic and public policy research that helps Utah prosper. We are Utah’s demographic experts, leaders on the Utah economy, and specialists on public policy and survey research. We are an honest broker of INFORMED RESEARCH, which guides INFORMED DISCUSSIONS, and leads to INFORMED DECISIONS™. For more information, please visit gardner.utah.edu or call 801-585-5618.

ABOUT THE DAVID ECCLES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The Eccles School is synonymous with ‘doing.’ The Eccles experience provides a world-class business education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students put what they learn into practice long before graduation. Founded in 1917 and educating more than 6,000 students annually, the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business offers nine undergraduate majors, four MBAs, eight other graduate programs, a Ph.D. in seven areas and executive education curricula. The School is also home to 12 institutes, centers, and initiatives, which deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit Eccles.Utah.edu or call 801-581-7676.

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