Utah’s Economy Remains Strong Despite COVID-19


Representative Carl Albrecht, District 70

By Representative Carl Albrecht, District 70

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Election Information

Ballots have been mailed out! To see all the candidates who are running and see Utah’s Official Voter Information Pamphlet, go to https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018 Election/2018 Utah Voter Information Pamphlet.pdf.

Many areas of Utah have been voting by mail for over two decades. It is simple, easy and safe.

This year, there are seven constitutional amendments on the ballot. You can review these amendments in the voter information pamphlet or listen to the podcast on Google https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8zNmRiMjgwYy9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw or on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/show/29iEqsEpMk05buAF2hgGvC

Economic Development and Employment

Utah started out the year with an impressive unemployment rate of 2.5% in January 2020. Though the global pandemic has hit the state hard, as it has everywhere else, Utah has been able to stay afloat and keep its citizens employed. Currently, Utah’s unemployment rate sits at 4.1%, less than half the national unemployment rate.

During the July Special Session, the Utah Legislature passed HB 5010, creating grants for struggling businesses and helping provide economic stability to the country. Additionally, the Legislature passed a bill allocating an additional $300 a week for those receiving unemployment benefits.

Despite these uncertain and economically challenging times, Utah’s strong and robust economy still stands as an example to the rest of the nation. Forbes recently published the article entitled “What Utah Can Teach Other States About Surviving a Recession,” praising Utah for its fiscal responsibility and economic planning.

The article can be found at https://www.forbes.com/sites/adammillsap/2020/08/27/what-utah-can-teach-other-states-about-surviving-a-recession/ – 64a17fb86e95

Utah has received many top rankings for its business-friendly environment and strong economic outlook. We enjoy a strong and diverse economy.

The Utah Legislature has targeted and created policies to drive growing industries including aerospace and defense, information technology, life sciences, financial services, manufacturing and distribution, and outdoor recreation. By promoting these industries, and many others, Utah will be able to expand talent and capital, increase industry expertise, drive research, promote trade, improve supply chains, and create a place for small and large businesses alike.

COVID-19 Update

Utah’s seven-day rolling average for positive tests is 1,355 per day. The rolling seven-day average for percent of positive laboratory tests is 15.8%.

Podcast – New Transmission Index 

Utah recently went through a major change in the way the state manages COVID-19. Rich Saunders explains these changes and why they were necessary on a recent Utah House of Representatives Podcast on Google or Spotify at the addresses listed above.

Unemployment Update

Below is the latest news release on Utah’s unemployment insurance claims from the Department of Workforce Services. A few points to highlight from Oct. 11-17:

  • Traditional unemployment insurance new claims decreased by 8.9% from the previous week to 2,501 claims
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance new claims decreased by 1.3% from the previous week to 704 claims
  • Extended Unemployment Claims decreased by 11.8% from the previous week to 1,059 claims
  • Total new claims for all three programs ended the week at 4,264
  • Combined weekly claims for all three programs was at 34,579
  • Total combined numbers from March 15 to Oct. 17
    • New claims: 324,705
    • Benefits paid: $1,564,408,203 (includes Lost Wages Assistance payments)

Despite the demand for this benefit and the dollar amount that has been paid out, Utah’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund remains solvent. This is not the case for more than 20 states. As more people come to the end of their unemployment benefits, our focus remains on connecting them to where the current job opportunities are right now.

Halloween Guidelines

With Halloween coming up next week, the Center for Disease Control has released new guidelines to help keep us safe during the holiday. There are guidelines for trick or treating, hosting parties and going to other activities. Some guidelines include:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Wait to go up to a door if there is already a group there.
  • Don’t stay at any one house for more than a few minutes.
  • Don’t let your kids eat their candy before they get home. When you get home, you can wipe the wrappers off with a disinfecting wipe.

As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve. Contact me at (435) 979-6578 or cralbrecht52@gmail.com with concerns or questions.

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