Business & Labor

Brian Grimmett

Several legislators are now saying that they are considering legislation to address some of the regulatory issues facing the online HR company Zenefits.

Wikimedia Commons

  Utah posted strong employment numbers again in November.  But there’s one area of the economy where there may be trouble ahead.

Tim Slover

Officials with the Utah Weights and Measures Program announced a dramatic increase in the accuracy of commercial-use scales today.

The online Human Resource services company, Zenefits, has officially asked the Utah Department of Insurance to reconsider its decision that the company is operating illegally in the state.

Utah Geological Survey

The parent company of Rocky Mountain Power has decided to shut down the Deer Creek coal mine near Huntington.   The closure represents a blow to organized labor in Utah.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Historic Trolley Square is undergoing a facelift this holiday season. When Utah businessman Khosrow Semnani bought the troubled shopping center last year, he vowed to return it to its former glory. Semnani is optimistic even though many shop spaces remain empty.

The Utah Insurance Department has informed an online Human Resources service company, called Zenefits, that the manner in which it offers its products violates state law. The decision has the small business community in an uproar and has even caused Governor Gary Herbert to respond.

Utah's Mountains Provide an Escape to Black Friday

Nov 28, 2014
Michael Shea

In addition to family, turkey, and football, Thanksgiving has become synonymous with another activity, Black Friday. But the mayhem and stress often associated with the shopping holiday couldn’t seem further away then when up at one of Utah’s many ski resorts.

On a warm Friday afternoon the deck at Snowbird is packed with skiers and snowboarders. Rather than waiting in line for TVs and microwaves, visitors at the resort are standing to get on the Tram. Brian Brown is Communication Director for Snowbird. He says that if you are going to wait in line it should be for something fun.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Local officials launched a campaign Friday to encourage Utahns to shift at least 10 percent of their holiday shopping towards locally owned businesses.

Kristen Lavelett, Executive Director of Local First Utah, says the “Shift Your Spending” campaign could help keep millions of dollars in the Utah economy.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Small Business Saturday, a national campaign started in 2010, has boosted the buy-local movement in Utah.

Sheridan Mordue is co-owner of Hip & Humble, a boutique that sells clothes, jewelry, and housewares. One of her three Utah shops is on 900 South in Salt Lake City. The holiday season is where Hip & Humble makes much of its money, and Mordue is hoping Small Business Saturday will give them a boost.

Bob Nelson

Utahns’ confidence in the economy has hit an all-time high just as the holiday shopping season begins. The monthly Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index is at a record-high 116.8. Randy Shumway is the CEO at The Cisero Group which does the survey for Zions. He says any number more than 110 means the economy is running on all cylinders.

Bob Massey via Flickr

Help is on the way for aspiring homebuyers in Salt Lake City. Wells Fargo is partnering with non-profit NeighborWorks Salt Lake to provide moderate to low-income families with money for a down-payment and closing costs on a new home.

Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Lift program is providing $15,000 grants to 224 qualified home-buyers in Salt Lake City. The grants are for legal residents who do not currently own a home.

File: ImageGen.ashx

Ski Utah announced Tuesday the start of the official countdown to the start of the 2014 ski season. Skiutah.com shows Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon is due to open next Friday with five more planning to open by next weekend.  Nathan Rafferty is president of the coalition of ski resorts in Utah. He says two things gauge the season.

“And that’s economy and snow and…you know snow trumps all.”

File: Timeanddate.com

Daylight Saving Time ends in Utah at 2 am this Sunday.  In light of recent polls favoring doing away with the bi-annual change, the subject is likely to once again come up during next year's legislative session.

The Sugar House Community Council recently heard input from residents regarding a large multi-use development.

The Development proposed by ThomasFox Properties would be a dramatic change to the area at 2100 south and 2100 east.  The complex would include over 7000 feet of commercial space and more than 250 apartments that would reach up to 55 feet high. Judi Short is the Vice Chair of the Sugar House Community Council. She says the vast majority of residents who attended the recent meeting were opposed to the new development.

  A Provo-based marketing software company is expanding its operations and bringing 150 new jobs to downtown Salt Lake City.

InsideSales.com uses proprietary technology to evaluate sales contacts and focus on the prospects who are most likely to buy from its clients.  Val Hale, who directs the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, says they’re adding jobs in Salt Lake partly because it’s been hard to find enough people with the right skills in Utah County.

Bob Nelson

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch was honored by United Natural Products Alliance at a special luncheon event in Salt Lake City Thursday. The Utah-based UNPA has members in the worldwide food supplement industry. The compounded sales growth of the dietary supplements industry in Utah is reported to be nearly 11% per year since 1992.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

BioFire Diagnostics announced its plans Wednesday to double its workforce in Salt Lake City and build a new facility. The announcement comes as the company awaits federal emergency authorization to release a rapid test for Ebola.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A global forum is taking place at the Salt Palace Wednesday. The conference hosted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is designed to help Utah businesses expand beyond local borders through imports and exports.

When it comes to international trade, Utah’s growth is above the national average. Governor Gary Herbert says the state has doubled its import-export business over the last 10 years.

“But I’m here to tell you I think we’re just barely scratching the surface,” Herbert says. “I think the potential that we have worldwide is incredible.”

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its annual convention in Salt Lake City this week. The organization's leader says Utah may seem like a counterintuitive choice, but it has proved to be a success.

Utah may be sparsely populated, and it may not be the most ethnically diverse state in the country, but the President of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Javier Palomarez was clearly pleased with the turnout.

File: Utah Department of Workforce Services, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Utah Department of Workforce Services released its employment numbers for August on Friday.

Utah’s non-farm employment grew by an estimated 3.5 percent, which is a tenth percent slower than July’s numbers. Carrie Mayne is the Chief Economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. She says there are indications of a notable increase in the number of Utahns leaving the labor force.

Park City Mountain Resort

Vail Resorts has purchased Park City Mountain Resort for $182.5 million dollars.

A federal judge has decided Monday not to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to dismantle a joint operating agreement between the Deseret News and the parent company of the Salt Lake Tribune. 

Pool: Salt Lake Tribune

 

A Third District Court judge has set a bond payment that will allow Park City Mountain Resort to continue to operate for the 2014 - 2015 ski season.

Courtesy photo

The Utah Labor Commission and the Mexican Consulate are using Labor Day to raise awareness about the work rights of immigrants. Elena Bensor is a Public Information Officer for the Utah Labor Commission, and she says many people don’t know that undocumented immigrants have labor rights.

“It is illegal for the employer not to pay the wages that they are owed,” Bensor says. “Also, employees have the right to medical assistance when they do suffer a work-related accident, regardless of their status.”

Pool: Salt Lake Tribune

Third District Court Judge Ryan Harris has decided to wait a week before making a decision on how much it will cost Park City Mountain Resort to continue to operate on land the business no longer leases. 

Brian Grimmett

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, criticized the United States’ regulatory climate in Salt Lake on Thursday at the Utah Solutions Summit.

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert says his challenge to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days was a huge success.

In his 2012 state of the state address Governor Gary Herbert challenged the private sector to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. The unemployment rate at the time was 5.8%.  Now at the end of the challenge, Herbert says they were actually able to create 112, 200 jobs.

File: Department of Workforce Services

The number of Utahns with non-farm jobs grew by an estimated 3.6 percent in July. That’s equal to nearly 46-thousand jobs. The Utah Department of Workforce Services released its employment numbers for July today Friday.  DWS Chief Economist Carrie Mayne says it’s the highest growth so far this year.

“Our largest job gains were in the construction industry, trade, transportation and utilities and in education services,” says Mayne.

It was another great month for Utah in terms of job growth. Mayne says all 10 private sector industries showed job gains during the period.

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