Business & Labor

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.

File: Ocalapost.com

Utahns will have to wait to enjoy the rest of the country’s overall downward trend in gasoline prices.

AAA reports Tuesday’s national average of $3.47 per gallon is 18 cents lower than last month. Utah’s price is only 4 cents lower. Randy Shumway is the economic advisor to Zions Bank. He says aside from any major unforeseen global political or economic events, the state will follow its long history of lagging as fuel prices fall nationally.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This weekend, one of the original restaurants at The Gateway shopping center in Salt Lake City will serve its last meal. Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill is closing Saturday. While there is a growing list of closures at The Gateway, one restaurant is opening this month that promises a new experience.

File: Salt Lake Board of Realtors

Salt Lake County single-family home sales decreased 9 percent for the second quarter compared to the same period last year. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reports nearly 33-hundred homes were sold in the county. That was down from a little more than 36-hundred homes last year. Angie Neldon is the current President of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Utah women are more than twice as likely as men to work at low-wage jobs. That’s according to a new study released Wednesday from the National Women’s Law Center.

The study shows that about 17% of Utah women work at jobs that pay less than $10.10 an hour, compared to 7.4% of men. Women make up almost two thirds of the low-wage workforce in the state, but Utah is not unique in this way.

Bob Nelson

Utah’s Consumer Attitude Index hit an all-time high from June to July in a survey done for Zions Bank by The Cicero Group. The CAI increased 6.6 points to 104.9 during the period and has improved 19.4 points over the past four months. Randy Shumway is the Chief Executive Officer for Cicero.  He says 34 percent of Utahns surveyed believe their income is going to rise over the next twelve months.

File: Utah Food Bank

A number of Utahns are still struggling to get enough food for their families despite overall favorable economic news. Rural Utahns in particular are facing tough times with more than 1 in 5 kids unsure how they getting their next meal. Ginette Bott is the chief development officer for the Utah Food Bank. She says the type of people needing food assistance is changing.

Photo courtesy Community Action Provo

Children in Utah are more likely to be living in poverty today than they were two decades ago. That’s according to new data released from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The percentage of Utah children living in poverty rose from 12 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2012. That’s a concern for Deputy Director of Voices for Utah Children Terry Haven.

Medical waste company Stericycle has cleared another hurdle in its effort to relocate its incinerator from North Salt Lake to Tooele County. The local planning commission approved a conditional use permit for the new facility this month, though two commissioners voted against it.

Stericycle Vice President of Corporate Communications  Jennifer Koenig says the permit is necessary to move forward with a new facility, but it’s only one step among many.

File: Salt Lake City Department of Airports

The Salt Lake City Department of Airports will break ground Friday on the 1.8 billion dollar Terminal Redevelopment Program. Construction will continue in phases from now through 2019 with complete build out by 2022. Mike Williams is the program director of the massive project. He says there will be many big changes along the way but the effort is going to be well worth it.

File: Autumn Aloft, Mark Prothro

Park City’s Autumn Aloft Hot Air Balloon Festival is returning after suddenly ending 20 years ago. It will coincide with the final weekend of the Parksilly Sunday Market September 19 through the 21st. Meisha Lawson is the spokeswoman for the festival. She says city leaders, residents and businesses are showing overwhelming support for the return of the event.

File: Utah State Legislature

The chair of the Legislature’s Special Investigative Committee says he is working on a bill to increase potential use of grand juries in investigations in the wake of the John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff arrests Tuesday. Republican Representative Jim Dunnigan of Taylorsville led the bi-partisan investigation after the US Department of Justice dropped the case. He says a number of potentially helpful parties simply did not respond to subpoenas from the committee.

Wikimedia Commons

  Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance released its annual report on economic benchmarks today.  It shows retail sales, commercial office space and residential construction are all growing – and people seem to like it.

A statewide survey included in the report shows 70 percent of residents statewide have a positive perception of downtown Salt Lake, and 50 percent say the parking situation has improved.

File: Howard Hughes Corporation

Smith’s Food and Drug will be the anchor grocery store for the development at the former Cottonwood Mall in Holladay. Activity at the 57-acre multi-use project stopped at the start of the recession. Marsha Gilford is vice president of public affairs for Smith’s. She says the new 78-thousand square foot store will be built just north of Macy’s and have two levels of below-store parking.

A new national report shows that there is a shortage of workers with developed skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  The Brookings Institution report analyzed how long job vacancies were posted last year for various occupations. The study’s author Jonathan Rothwell says STEM jobs took the longest to fill everywhere across the country, indicating difficulty finding workers with adequate skills.

File: Sugar House Facebook page

Thousands of Salt Lake Valley residents will be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, but they won’t be able to catch a bus or train to get around. The Utah Transit Authority is taking the day off. KUER’s Bob Nelson reports.

It's Now Legal to Sell a Utah Liquor License

Jul 1, 2014

  Starting today, it’s legal for bar or restaurant owners to sell their liquor licenses in Utah.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the change is meant to keep transactions above board.

The Transfer of License Act was passed by the Utah legislature three years ago.  The sponsor was Republican State Senator John Valentine, who says the idea was to stop the under-the-table transactions that often accompanied the sale of a business.

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