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IT Industry Helping Utah's Declining Unemployment Numbers

Newly released figures show an encouraging picture for the unemployed in Utah. Officials have reported that the unemployment rate for the state is now at 3.5 percent. The amount of Utahns out of work experienced a slight decrease from August, and the state is tied for second lowest unemployment rate across the nation. Much of that growth in hiring has come from Utah’s Information Technology industry.

IT companies have been doing more and more business in Utah in recent years. The San Jose, California-based software corporation Adobe opened a large facility in Utah County two years ago which employs nearly 1,000 workers. Other firms such as Qualtrics and SolarWinds have also expanded into the state, making IT one of the fastest growing industries in Utah.

The Economic Development Corporation of Utah claims that these businesses are attracted by the low state corporate tax rates and the growing amount of college graduates interested in technology-related careers. Utah ranks 40th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia with its’ corporate tax rate of five percent. The computer science programs at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University are both nationally ranked.

The impact of this on Utah’s unemployed women has yet to be seen. Nationally, women make up only 18 percent of computer science graduates and hold just 26 percent of IT jobs, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of computer science majors who were women decreased by 64 percent.

The rate of Utah women in the labor force, however, remains slightly higher than the national average.