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Altabanking episode 13 with Natalie Gochnour

June 5, 2020

Natalie Gochnour – Altabanking Interview KSL Radio Transcript:

Segment title: Utah Economy Well-Positioned to Recover from Coronavirus Recession

GRANT: Welcome to Altabanking. Weekly business talk geared toward elevating your financial future. Natalie Gochnour is director of the Kem C. Gardiner Institute at the University of Utah and a member of the Altabank board of directors. Natalie, Forbes recently ranked two Utah cities in the ten U.S. cities best positioned to recover from the coronavirus. Why is Utah’s economy faring so much better than many other states?

NATALIE: Thanks Grant, Utah entered the COVID-19 recession favorably positioned. We had record low unemployment, strong corporate balance sheets and a large rainy day funded state government. That’s why Forbes ranked Salt Lake and Provo metro areas as two of the ten best cities positioned to recover. Let’s also mention that Utah has led out with a comprehensive COVID-19 economic response team and plan, what listeners will know as Utah Leads Together.

GRANT: What is the current status of Utah’s economy?

NATALIE: Well there is no question in Utah, we have, like other states, been very hard hit. In two months, we lost all of the jobs Utah created in the past three years. But let’s be clear, the data also shows that Utah has fared much better than other states. Utah is tied with South Dakota for the lowest cumulative jobless claims at 9.5%. That’s less than half the U.S. percentage. Job losses have also declined now for six consecutive weeks with signals of return to job growth likely in the next 30-90 days.

GRANT: Is it fair to say that one of our economic strengths is our business diversity?

NATALIE: It is, Utah has among the most diverse economies in the nation. It’s the economic equivalent of having a lot of eggs in your basket. If one of your eggs breaks, you have others left to feed you and I think Utah’s diverse economic mix includes not just financial services like Altabank, but tourism, energy, tech, manufacturing and more.

GRANT: Thank you, Natalie. This has been Altabanking. Brought to you by Altabank. Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender.