Utah’s Economy: Some Changes in the Structure of the Utah Economy

Utah's Economy- Some Changes in the Structure of the Utah EconomyFor more than 20 years Intermountain Healthcare, Brigham Young University (BYU), Delta Airlines, Smith’s Food and Drug and Thiokol (Autoliv) have been among the largest private sector employers in Utah. This consistency has not extended to Utah’s software industry. WordPerfect was a major employer in 1990 but in 2012 there were no software companies among the top 15 employers in the state nor were there any utility companies. In 1990 two utilities, Pacificorp and U.S. West (Century Link) were among the largest employers in the state. Both had less employment in 2012 than in 1990. Also the retail sector had some major turnover with ZCMI, K-Mart, Albertson’s and Sears being replaced by Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Harmon’s and Costco. Wal-Mart appeared on the list of major employers in 2000 with 6,500 employees. By 2012 Wal-Mart’s employment had nearly tripled to 17,500. Thus Wal-Mart became part of a triumvirate of employers, along with Intermountain Healthcare and BYU, whose employment far exceeds the level of other major companies.

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