The fastest growing industry in Utah

The fastest growing industry in Utah

Economic pundits are increasingly predicting that the U.S. is headed toward recession–if the economy is not in one already. Unemployment remains at historic lows, but heightened inflation over the last year has increased the cost of nearly everything for businesses and consumers alike. With the U.S. Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to slow inflation, most experts forecast slower or negative GDP growth this year.

A potential recession could mark the end of a decade-plus of upward GDP growth. In the Great Recession, GDP bottomed out at $18.4 trillion in the second quarter of 2009. Since then, inflation-adjusted GDP has grown by more than 30% overall to $23.9 trillion, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

While COVID-19 was unquestionably a severe shock, the pandemic only temporarily disrupted the economy’s overall growth trajectory. The pandemic sent GDP from nearly $23 trillion in adjusted dollars in the first quarter of 2020 to $20.9 trillion in the second. But the economy proved resilient and bounced back quickly. GDP climbed back above $23 trillion by the first quarter of 2021 and topped $24 trillion in the last quarter of the year before falling slightly at the beginning of 2022.

One factor in the U.S. economy’s strong growth in recent years, even in the wake of the pandemic, has been an explosion of activity in the information sector. Powered by a wave of tech and media startups and continued growth among established players like Apple, Amazon, and Google, the industry has experienced 50% growth over the last five years and now is responsible for $1.3 trillion of GDP annually.

Other sectors that have performed well are those that offer services to other businesses. These growing fields include management of companies and enterprises (+35.4% real GDP growth), administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (+29.3%), and professional, scientific, and technical services (+27.2%).

In light of these industry trends, the states that have seen the largest increases in GDP growth are found mostly in the western United States. Washington (+27.5% real GDP growth), Utah (+25.5%), and California (+22.3%) have large and fast-growing information sectors that have boosted their economy in recent years. Other prospering states like Florida (+17.7%) and Texas (+17%) can credit more of their success to growth in the management industry.

But each state’s economy looks different in terms of growth trajectory and key industries. A total of 48 states have experienced GDP growth over the last five years, and the industries leading that growth vary substantially across locations.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Gross Domestic Product data. To determine the fastest growing industry in every state, researchers at Filterbuy identified the industry with the greatest change in real GDP between Q4 2016 and Q4 2021. All data was inflation adjusted to Q4 2021 dollars. Only industries with complete data at the state level were considered in this analysis.

Here is a summary of the data for Utah:

  • Industry: Information
  • Industry-specific percentage change in real GDP: +75.6%
  • Industry-specific total change in real GDP: +$7,300,850,263
  • State percentage change in real GDP: +25.5%
  • State total change in real GDP: +$40,975,783,989

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Industry: Information
  • Industry-specific percentage change in real GDP: +50.0%
  • Industry-specific total change in real GDP: +$628,217,945,320
  • State percentage change in real GDP: +12.3%
  • State total change in real GDP: +$2,332,570,275,350

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Filterbuy’s website: https://filterbuy.com/resources/fastest-growing-industry-in-every-state/

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.