Thursday, June 11, 2015

Utah Ranks 6th In Advanced Industry Employment Concentration

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2014Q3)
* Select from the list at the right to update the map for specific Advanced Industries - top 4 are aggregates.
* Hover over the bubbles on the map to see the LQs, relative rankings, and employment levels for each state. 
Matt Schroeder, Regional Economist

Previously, we posted a blog highlighting the trends in and importance of Utah's Advanced Industries (as defined by the Brookings Institution). As a follow-up, we've created an interactive map to compare the relative concentration of employment in Advanced Industries across the United States.

Location quotients (LQ) were calculated for the Advanced Industries in each state. LQs compare the share of workers in each industry in a specific state to the share of workers in the same industry nationwide.  This is a common metric used by economists to gauge the relative prominence of various industries in a state and answer questions like, "How dependent is Utah on oil and gas extraction?"  

A LQ of one tells us that the state share of workers employed in a given industry is identical to the U.S. share. A LQ greater than one is saying that a state has a higher concentration of employment in an industry compared to the nation as a whole, and visa versa for an LQ less than one. 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Utah’s Advanced Industries Drive Employment and Wage Growth

Matt Schroeder, Regional Economist

A recent report by the Brookings Institution touts the importance of Advanced Industries, which are defined as those that perform a high level of research and development per worker and employ a high percentage of workers with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) training. Fifty industries are identified as “advanced” in the report, including some that you would expect, such as semiconductor manufacturing and software publishing, while others are a bit surprising, like clay products manufacturing. But all have a common thread. According to Brookings, these industries provide the bulk of new inventions and innovative processes while driving down consumer prices and spurring regional and national growth.

The Share of Utahns Employed by Advanced Industries is Larger than the National Average

Nationally, Advanced Industries employ about 9 percent of the total working population but produce about 17 percent of GDP. According to Brookings, therein lies the importance of these industries: their ability to innovate leads to greater productivity at lower cost in the long run. Lower production costs flow through to consumers in the form of lower prices; and, because per-worker productivity is higher, employees of these industries tend to earn higher wages.

In Utah, this group of industries employs about 147,000 people, or 11 percent of the state total — larger than the national share. And like Advanced Industries nationwide, Utahns in

Monday, May 4, 2015

Utah Ranks in Aerospace Manufacturing

A quick reference to a recent article about aerospace worldwide and particularly in the United States. Good job Utah!!

For the US state rankings, which considered variables including tax rates, operating costs, industry size and educational attainment,  Florida maintained its #1 position from last year. Newcomers to the top ten included Utah, Virginia, New York, and North Carolina.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Downtown Labor Pull

Mark Knold, Supervising Economist

Major metropolitan areas center on a large city and its downtown core. In Utah, that is Salt Lake City. A skyline of office buildings are fed by a transportation artery designed to funnel labor to this economic center. Downtowns can be known for being more of a work area than a residential area, and so workday populations can swell in a downtown, then ebb as the evening unfolds.

A U.S. Census Bureau product entitled Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) has a great mapping tool that allows users to outline a geographic area and then see how many workers work in that area and where they commute from. Let’s look at the Salt Lake City downtown core.

The downtown will be defined as extending from I-15 eastward along North Temple to 700 East, then south to 800 South and west back to I-15. This rectangle roughly follows census block groups, which is the lowest foundation the LEHD program will geographically measure. Within this zone, roughly 58,100 jobs exist  (as of 2011, so 2015 totals would be higher). Of that total, 11,350, or 20 percent, live in Salt Lake City itself. The remaining 80 percent come in from surrounding cities and counties.

The list to the left are cities and their supply into the 58,100 jobs. It is a diverse list.

As expected, workers approach the downtown from all directions. It’s interesting to see that a city as far away as Spanish Fork supplies as many workers to the downtown as does Woods Cross, a city much closer. The work appeal and the quality of jobs available to come into the downtown area have a far reach. Even a city with its own downtown core, such as Ogden, supplies close to 900 workers for downtown Salt Lake City.

There is another major employment area to the east of the downtown core — the University of Utah (U of U) and its surroundings. That area accounts for another 32,000 jobs. Its commuting pattern for employment looks like this: