DAVIS COUNTY—As Christmas approaches, shoppers are opening their wallets and spending money in Davis County. But what is the economy like here as a whole?
“Davis County is performing very well,” said Matt Schroeder, regional economist with the Department of Workforce Services. “Employment growth is above 3 percent and pretty healthy. There are no signs of that tapering off or slowing down. We have super low unemployment. It’s about 2.9 percent which is very, very low.”
Schroeder said the structure of Davis County’s economy is very diverse which is a factor for stability. “There is no one particular industry in the county and plenty of other businesses to take up the slack,” he said. “That is a big boost to the economy. All industries across the board have been contributing to the county’s economy.”
Workforce Services is a large agency with several divisions involved in local programs. “We work with job seekers and employers,” he said. “We’re out looking for what employers’ needs are so we can connect education as well as local government to that. My division gathers data and disseminates information that helps the rest of the agency to do all those things.”
Computer machining is in super high demand and other support industries for Hill Air Force Base, Schroeder said. “They need those type of workers who can do composites and components. They also want software developers and engineers. They’re not all necessarily associated with Hill. These skills have spread to other industries as well.”
Another industry on the rise is outdoor products. “This has become a booming sector in the region as well,” he said. “Vista Outdoor company in Station Park is an outdoor equipment manufacturer. I think in Davis County that industry represents about 11 percent (of the economy). It is an important piece in the county.”
There has been significant growth in the county, said Schroeder. “Lots of people are increasingly staying in Davis County and working here,” he said. “There is nothing on the horizon to indicate anything changing.”
Wages are generally lower in Utah than some other states. “If you compare it to San Francisco the cost of living is different so it’s hard to flush that out,” he said. “In Davis County the average wage is a little lower than Salt Lake County but not much. Wages have been slow to grow but they’re starting to come up. In Utah, unemployment is low enough it’s putting pressure on those wages.”
A good sign in terms of wage growth is when employers are having a harder time finding the talent they need unless they offer higher wages to lure them in, he said.
According to Schroeder, the fastest growing industries are in manufacturing, health care and residential construction.
“The hottest fields are also in engineering as well as anything software related,” he said. “Nurses are in high demand and high tech diagnostics, such as in hospitals. Truck drivers are also in demand but the wages are not as good.”
For more information about Workforce services visit jobs.utah.gov.