Salt Lake City Becomes a Talent Hub for Skilled Jobs

April 13, 2021
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Author: Jonathan Blair

Salt Lake City is booming. Known as "Silicon Slopes," this city has become a destination for tech companies and startups over the past five years. Its growth has only increased during the COVID pandemic. For local talent acquisition professionals and decision makers, there is a high-skilled talent supply and a large customer base with disposable income.

Salt Lake City's booming economy has attracted both businesses and job seekers.

Talent Market Outlook

Multiple factors have created a tight labor market in the Salt Lake City area. The city’s unemployment rate has remained low throughout the pandemic. In February, it was 3.6%. LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy expects it to remain below 4.0%, which is lower than the national average of 6.2%. Salt Lake City has also regained most of its jobs lost in 2020, and LaborIQ forecasts it to be one of the first U.S. cities to return to its pre-pandemic employment level.

For businesses looking to hire, higher wages than the national average and a thriving economy have attracted talent to the area. Higher wages are in large part due to the Professional and Business Services sector, which has the second highest share of the city’s employment base. Many in-demand occupations in tech, business administration, legal services, scientific research, marketing and engineering fall under this sector.

Salt Lake City has also become a destination for California transplants. In 2019, more Californians moved to Utah than any other state, and from 2010 to 2020, Utah had the fastest growing population of any state, with an increase of 17.1%. Much of this population growth has migrated to Salt Lake City due to its growing businesses and job creation.

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Impact on Businesses

The migration of talent and businesses to Salt Lake City has also created a highly skilled labor force and the occupational demand is high. The best competitive advantage for organizations to attract and retain talent is to know competitive compensation rates. Offering compensation above the national average for skilled roles will be the key to filling open roles. The low unemployment rate and increased demand for talent will prove to be a worthy challenge for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals.

For businesses looking to move to SLC, the area’s population growth has rental rates on the rise and Realtor.com expects home sales to increase by 7.5% and prices to increase by 5.7% in 2021. Office and industrial construction are also outpacing the national level, according to the National Association of Realtor Report, which only further denotes the growth in this major city.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy forecasts and advises on employment conditions and the impact to jobs, industries and businesses across all U.S. cities.