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The past year was a rollercoaster that threw everyone for a loop, but four months into 2021, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and it’s only getting brighter. We are finally getting on top of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and our public health. As case counts are stabilizing throughout the country and decreasing here in Utah, this “public health recession” will begin to fade. Already, as vaccinations are rapidly increasing, consumer confidence is rising, Utah’s unemployment rate is falling – currently at a very positive 3.1%, and we have people returning to work.

And while not all industries have escaped the impact of COVID-19 (tourism, restaurants and entertainment), a few strong sectors are fueling Utah’s rapid rebound, with construction leading the way. Many large projects will continue well into the future, including the ongoing construction of the new SLC International Airport, the inland port, the new prison, and all shapes and sizes of residential projects as we work to reduce the state’s housing shortage and reskill our population to ensure a bright future for our entire state.

In this inaugural episode of Altabanking, a business podcast geared toward elevating your financial future, Altabank’s Stan Sorensen sits down with Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Institute at the University of Utah and member of the Altabank Board of Directors, not to dwell on 2020, but rather discuss what’s to come in 2021 and beyond.

Gochnour shares highlights from the 2021 Economic Report to the Governor, as well as Governor Cox’s One Utah Roadmap. She takes with us her perspective on various hot topics such as travel and tourism, the housing shortage, education, employment and more.

In this episode:

1:13: Moving towards recovery

4:20: Tourism and entertainment took a punch in the gut

6:30: Employment, education, and reskilling workers

12:15: Population growth & investing in our future

17:55: The housing shortage

31:30: Public-private partnerships and the Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola

34:25: Lightning round questions

42:40: Final thoughts

Altabanking, Economic Outlook – Full Transcript