Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Delta Fire Station Construction Completed

The newly completed Delta Fire Station hosted their official hose cutting ceremony and open house to the public. Funding for the new fire station was made possible by joint efforts with a Community Impact Board Grant of $1,810,000 and a loan for $775,000 to the Millard County Fire District and Delta City, to be paid back by the Millard Fire District. Millard County Chronicle Progress

Intermountain Power Project will shutter coal-fired power plant near Delta

Utah's largest coal-fired power plant — the Intermountain Power Project outside Delta — will cease operations by 2025 due to losing its Southern California customer base and a weak market for coal-fueled electricity. The decision was anticipated, with its Southern California municipality customer base being prohibited from purchasing coal-fueled electricity when the contracts are up.

While electricity will no longer flow from heating coal, IPP participants are moving ahead with plans to develop new natural gas-fueled electricity generation at the site. Already, 32 municipal power systems and rural electric cooperatives have agreed to participate in the gas project, and engineering work has started, according to company officials.

The project will bring on 1,200 megawatts of new natural-gas fueled electricity, compared with the 1,800 megawatts of installed capacity from coal-fired generation. More than 440 people are employed at the site, generating an annual payroll that exceeds $46 million, according to a news release. The next eight years will be a time of "transition" for the plant's employees, but exactly how many of those workers will be able to retain their jobs was not specified in the company announcement. Deseret News

Utah Heritage Credit Union to get new building in Ephraim

Utah Heritage Credit Union has started on a project that will culminate in a new building on Main Street in Ephraim. The general contractor is Landmark Construction of Logan, but Todd Alder of Ephraim, owner of Todd Alder Construction, will be the construction superintendent, and most of the subcontractors will be from Sanpete County. The new building will have 3,840 square feet on the ground level, with 2,990 square feet in the basement. The basement won’t be occupied at first but will be available for expansion. Sanpete Messenger

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is Your Town Growing?

U.S. Census Bureau releases 2016 City Population Estimates

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time” –Patrick Geddes

Most of Utah’s cities and towns grew in 2017, according to population estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Lehi even ranked 11th among the nation’s fastest-growing large cities. However, not all Utah’s cities and towns experienced growth.

Use the visualization and bullet points below to explore population trends for individual townships.

• The old Geneva Steel Mill site continues to be fertile ground for population expansion. Vineyard was once again the fastest growing city in Utah. However its rate of growth has slowed dramatically since 2015. In addition, Vineyard remains relatively small in size.

• Herriman added the highest number of new residents of any city in Utah (4,550) followed by Orem, Lehi and South Jordan. All showed higher population gains than Salt Lake City — Utah’s most populous city. Herriman also showed the second-fastest rate of expansion in 2016.

• St. George was the only city outside the Wasatch Front to increase its population by more than 2,000 residents.

• The top four population-gaining cities in Utah are all located in southern Salt Lake County or northern Utah County, as the metropolitan population continued to spread outward from the large city centers. Fastest-growing larger communities also tended to be located near the Salt Lake County/Utah County border.

• Due to the nature of percent-change mathematics, several small towns (such as Monticello, Mantua, Francis, Interlaken and Hideout) showed high growth rates although their new-resident counts measured relatively low.

• The Census Bureau estimates that most of the cities and towns showing population declines were located in the Uintah Basin, Carbon County and Emery County. Declines in resource-based employment have spearheaded these population declines.

• In addition, Millard, Piute, Garfield and Wayne counties displayed a significant number of contracting townships.

• Salt Lake County remains home to five of the 10 largest cities in the state. Utah County accounts for another two in the top 10. St. George is the only city in the top-10 ranking located outside the Wasatch Front.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Understanding Utah’s Future Skill and Knowledge Needs

The Utah Department of Workforce Services releases Skill and Knowledge-based Projections

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” Wilbur Wright

The following skill and knowledge projections suggest that the foundation for future workforce preparation relies on those old favorites “readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic.” Technical skills and knowledge areas are also important, but rely on an excellent foundation in basic skill and knowledge areas.

• Utah occupational projections and the Occupational Information Network (O*Net) provide the foundation for these skills and knowledge estimates.

• “Basic Skills” dominate the top 10 in-demand skills, suggesting a need to ensure training on “the basics” for all prospective workers.

• Basic skills needs cross occupational and educational boundaries. • Basic skills make changing occupations possible as the labor market changes.

• Communication skills and reading rank highest on the top skills list, followed by critical thinking. • The top five skill and knowledge areas are the same for every region of the state.

• The top 10 in-demand skills change very little regardless of the occupational training level.

• Customer Service ranks, by far, as the knowledge area with the highest projected demand.

• For occupations requiring formal training past the high school level, competence in English, computers/electronics, and mathematics becomes increasingly important — although these skills are in demand for employment at all training levels.

• Short-term shortages for certain technical skills may seem to displace the overarching need for all workers to have a strong foundation in basic skills in training discussions.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Utah's Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for all Utah counties have been posted online here.

Each month, these rates are posted the Monday following the Unemployment Rate Update for Utah.

For more information about seasonally adjusted rates, read a DWS analysis here.

Next update scheduled for June 19th.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Utah's Employment Situation for April 2017

Utah's Employment Situation for April 2017 has been released on the web.

Find the Current Economic Situation in its entirety here.

For charts and tables, including County Employment, go to the Employment and Unemployment page.

Next update scheduled for June 16th, 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Centerfield mapping out $1.5M road project, $200,000 will allow chip-sealing

Centerfield City is getting ready for an almost $1.5-million roads project to get underway soon. The city has qualified for $1.47 million in a loan-grant combination for needed work. At a meeting of the city council Savage Surveying presented the company’s projections for where and what kind of maintenance should be done. Through its planning, the company had saved about $200,000, which could be used to double chip-seal all the east-west roads in the town, in addition to the north-south roads. The council approved Savage’s plans. Sanpete Messenger

Project on state trust lands not subject to local zoning

A state judge has invalidated a conditional-use permit Wayne County officials issued for a gravel pit on state trust lands on the edge of Teasdale, raising new questions on how much say local governments have over projects authorized by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

The county last year approved a gravel pit on part of a 120-acre SITLA parcel just upwind from Torrey, the artsy gateway to Capitol Reef National Park, in an area zoned for agriculture and low-density residential. The move outraged some residents, who took the dispute to court.

Judge George Harmond ruled that state-owned land is exempt from county zoning rules, so Wayne County properly declined to "rezone" the parcel in question. At the same time, Harmond said in his ruling the conditional-use permit issued to Brown Brothers Construction to operate the pit is not valid — since such permits are premised on a zoning designation. Salt Lake Tribune