Utah Leads in Job Recovery Markets

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Two Utah markets led the nation for job recovery at the end of 2020. While some metros may be several years from fully recovering all the jobs lost during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a handful saw their employment base return to February levels by the end of 2020. Salt Lake City was the nation’s most recovered market, with a December job base that was 1.6% ahead of February figures. That performance was closely followed by nearby Provo, where the job market is now 1.4% over pre-pandemic levels. Out of the nation’s largest 150 markets, only two others logged full recovery by December. Boise City’s job base is now 0.4% above pre-recession numbers, while Indianapolis is ahead by 0.2%. When the nation overall started seeing its job base decline in March 2020, Salt Lake City saw very mild cuts, while the other three markets on this list logged a more stabilized job base. When April hit, and the national job decline kicked into high gear, all these markets saw cuts between 8% and 11%, which seems deep but was much better than the 13% national decline and well beyond the tragic performance in some gateway markets. After that initial hit, each of these four markets started to see mild job recovery right away, starting in May, and that continued gradually through the end of the year.