SALT LAKE CITY — In January 2012, Gov. Gary R. Herbert challenged the private sector to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. An audacious goal at a time when unemployment was high and job growth was low across the nation. The private sector rose to the challenge and now, three years later, the goal has not only been achieved, but it has been achieved ahead of schedule and we have exceeded the goal by more than 10 percent.
“The only thing more rewarding than accomplishing a goal is exceeding that goal,” Herbert said. “I congratulate the private sector for creating more than 112,200 jobs in 1,000 days and businesses in Utah continue to create more every month. I express my appreciation for all businesses that continue to create jobs, improve the quality of life for residents and make Utah a best state for business.”
In 2012 when the challenge was set, many states were still feeling the effects of the recession. While Utah was faring better than most states with a job growth rate at 2.8 percent, far above the 1.8 percent national average, an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent meant there were still thousands of people looking for work who couldn’t find it.
Rather than wait for an economic recovery, Herbert set the goal and continued to work with the business community to work toward achieving it. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development recruited new businesses to create jobs, and the Department of Workforce Services connected job-seekers with those new opportunities for unprecedented economic expansion.
In celebration of exceeding the 100,000 job challenge, the governor was joined by business leaders from around the state at the Easton Archery Center, in Salt Lake City, a new world class archery training facility, which was built during the years of the job challenge. During the celebration the final 112,200 job creation number was revealed.
Utah’s current unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, essentially half of what it was in 2011 and well below the national rate of 6.2 percent. Utah’s current job growth rate is 3.6 percent, nearly double the national rate of 1.9 percent. Most importantly, Utah’s economy is now the fourth most diverse in the nation, and all sectors of the economy are growing.
The challenge to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days was daring, but rooted in fundamental principles that provided the foundation for success.
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