The impact of the tech sector on the Utah economy

When someone mentions a beehive, what are the first thoughts that come to mind? You probably can’t help but think about the delicious honey these little creatures make. Most importantly, bees play a vital role in maintaining strong plants and cultures throughout the pollination process.

Most people already know that Utah is “the state of the hive”. Yet how many of us have really stopped to think about how well this metaphor sums up the spirit of our state? I think it’s fair.

Consider data recently released by the US Census Bureau which found that over the past decade, Utah was the fastest growing state with nearly 3.28 million citizens. Our growth rate was 18.4%, compared to 7.4% nationally. But this information only leads to another question: what led to the growth of our state?

Much of our demographic boom can be attributed to our bustling and bustling economy like a healthy beehive. To extend the metaphor even further, our burgeoning tech sector could be the queen of our state’s markets.

Don’t take my word for it. According to the Utah Business Journal, the tech sector here in Utah has a direct impact of $ 20.1 billion on the state’s economy.

Another recent study found that we owe nearly one in seven jobs, or nearly 10%, of the total workforce here in Utah and up to $ 30 billion to the tech industry. The same report estimates that the technology sector represents 11.5% of our economy. Only nine other states can have a higher share.

That’s a lot of honey!

Encouragingly, job growth in Utah’s tech space is expected to continue to increase by 27% over the next decade. In 2021 alone, Utah’s tech companies are expected to create an estimated 245,000 jobs.

However, as how the bee can be devastated by precipitous changes in circumstances or its environment, the health and vitality of Deseret’s economy is a delicate balance.

Our representatives in Salt Lake City and Washington, DC must be very sensitive to the potential effects that policy changes may have on our business environment. The smallest of the lags can have major consequences. Keeping the beehive flourishing is a delicate balance.

That’s why I encourage our Congressional delegation and those at State House to bring the leaders of the tech industry to the table and chart a course forward that will ensure sustained growth over the long term. The last thing any of us want to do is make radical changes to our healthy business climate and put our honey production at risk.

Scott Anderson is the President and CEO of Zions Bank

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