The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour

Where Are the Workers: Examining the U.S. Labor Shortage


Hinckley Institute Radio Hour — This week on the program, we are broadcasting a panel of experts taking a closer look at Utah’s workforce, what sectors need workers, what sectors don’t, and how a decade-long economic boom has changed the Utah economy.

This year, Utah experienced a 12-year low in unemployment with a state-wide rate of 2.5 percent in October, well below the national average of 3.3 percent and almost matching the 2.3 percent low in 2007. Over the past two months, Salt Lake City has seen the lowest unemployment rate of the nation’s major metro areas, with a 2 percent and 1.9 percent rate in October and November, respectively. Significant and consistent job growth over the past year has added tens of thousands of jobs to the Utah economy, most prominently in the areas of education and health services, professional and business services and manufacturing. With such a tight labor market, the question of how to maintain growth and available workers has become pressing for employers and the state government. 

Analyzing Utah’s enviable economy, its pros and cons and how to maintain and capitalize on the booming economy is Ben Hart, Deputy Director of The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED); Mark Knold, Chief Economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services; and Peter Philips, Professor and Labor Economist at the University of Utah’s Economics Department. Moderating the discussion is Matt Hilburn, Vice President of Research and Marketing for the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.

This forum was recorded on September 18, 2019. 

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour
The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour is a weekly program featuring forums on local, national, and international issues important to people living in Utah. The program airs every Wednesday at 10 AM and Saturday at 9 AM. Hosted by Anthony Scoma, the program highlights and contextualizes the forums presented by the Hinckley Institute of Politics every fall and spring semester at the University of Utah. Produced by KCPW Studios
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