Information is the treasure of the current age. The instant
access to information since the advent of the Internet has transformed
societies in ways that thousands of years prior had not. Information can lead
to knowledge, and — with increased knowledge — better efficiencies and way of
life. If information is vital, then the presentation of information has also
risen to a prominent level.With this, the Utah Department of Workforce Services has
made some organizational improvements to its economic webpages. Various
economic data categories are not mutually exclusive, but we made an effort to
compartmentalize economic data for a better organizational display and
navigation. We also added a new feature area that taps into various national data
elements and measurements from the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), the
database of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. FRED’s added value is national
— and Utah — economic indicators. More on FRED’s contribution below. Depending on the subject, economic data can be categorized
as either broad or specific. For example, the demographic makeup of an area and
how that impacts an economic structure is a broad-subject approach. Conversely,
a current monthly snapshot of the Utah economy, its job growth and unemployment
rate is a more specific observation. Our economic webpage has four “portals”
through which to “categorize” and search for information. One portal is broad, while
the other three are more specific in nature.
The monthly employment profile just mentioned is a specific
topic and gets its own “portal,” entitled Employment Update. Here, the most
current Utah economic performance can be explored and summarized. The
information found here is what often gets cited in the local news media in
reference to the current Utah job performance and unemployment rate.
The second specific “portal” is labeled Local Insights. This
is a quarterly profile of the Utah economy down to a county level. Each county
is summarized with its own economic performance, including job growth,
unemployment rate, housing starts, taxable sales and other profile variables.
The common theme here is a county-specific approach.
The third specific “portal” is Reports and Analysis.
Workforce Services’ economic forte is the labor market. Things over and above
the everyday reporting on the labor market are presented here. Sometimes we do
special economic studies, other times we will report on specific economic
groups within the labor force, like women or veterans. Anything we do that is
not an often repeated or ongoing report are grouped here.
The final “portal,” and possibly the one that will be most
used, is labeled Economic Data. The core of our data collection and analysis is
concentrated here. Employment data, occupational data, wage information and
demographic profiles are just some of the major economic themes found in this
FRED's on site
As mentioned earlier, we have added an economic indicator
area tapping into FRED, which is a massive compilation of economic data from various
sources — primarily government statistical agencies, but also some nongovernmental
organizations. Workforce Services economists have gone through the list and
selected a handful of the most useful data series for gauging the performance
of Utah’s macro economy and gaining insights into expected trends. Utah
functions within the national economy, so the national economic indicators
profiled here are intended to also be guiding influences on the Utah economy. These
indicators include composite indexes; a recession probability indicator;
leading indicators, such as construction permits and the yield curve;
coincident indicators, such as real GDP and employment; and price indicators,
such as the consumer price index, regional housing prices, and oil and gas
prices. Each chart has a detailed description of what the data represent and
how they may be useful.
Keeping relevant with the fast-changing pace of the Internet
and data presentation is our goal at Workforce Services. We hope these changes
help to better present our broad package of economic data offerings.
following are some general highlights gleaned from the Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan
Statistical Area (MSA) occupational projections:
projected occupational growth rate in the Ogden-Clearfield MSA (which includes
Box Elder, Davis, Morgan and Weber counties) is similar to the rest of the
state on average at 2.6 percent annually through 2024. Utah statewide projected
growth is 2.7 percent. The 12,120 projected annual openings in Ogden-Clearfield
MSA from 2014 to 2024 represent about 17 percent of all projected openings in
with the highest growth expectations are, on average, those that require the
most education. Jobs that typically require a doctoral or professional degree
are projected to grow 3.4 percent annually through 2024. Growth in openings for
postsecondary teachers of business, criminal justice and health specialties are
the primary drivers of this trend.
expectations in construction and production (i.e., manufacturing) are
noteworthy in the Ogden-Clearfield region as well. Both of these categories are
already supplying large numbers of annual openings and are still expected to
grow at more than 3 percent every year. Jobs in these areas typically don’t
require as much education but offer relatively good wages. Electricians, for
instance, have a strong demand outlook. They typically require an
apprenticeship but no college education, and they earn a median wage in the region
of nearly $48K per year. Machinists, similarly, are expected to have plenty of
job opportunities through 2024, while requiring only some college or long-term
on-the-job training. In the Ogden-Clearfield region, they earn a median wage of
$52K per year.
Jobs in engineering
and information technology (IT) are also expected to continue growing at more
than 3 percent annually over the next eight years; and, together, are projected
to produce nearly 600 openings per year in the region. Jobs in engineering and
IT tend to offer high wages for the level of education required. Mechanical engineers,
for instance, are in high demand (about 70 openings per year in
Ogden-Clearfield). They typically require a bachelor’s degree and earn median
wages of $81K per year. Another example is applications software developers who
make median wages of $74K per year and have job opportunities projected to grow
at 3.5 percent annually (about 40 annual openings in Ogden-Clearfield).
many other occupations in the region that are projected to offer excellent
opportunities as well — industrial machinery mechanics, dental hygienists,
industrial engineers, electronics engineers and computer systems analysts to
name just a few. You can learn more about these occupations and others through
the Utah Occupational
Explorer where you can explore and compare occupations of interest in
detail by region, wage level, typical education required, projected growth and
demand. Before digging into the details though, take a look at the interactive
data visualization above to see the big picture of the occupational outlook for
the Ogden-Clearfield MSA.
About Utah's Occupational Projections
government knows everything about everyone.”
that statement is not true. Yet society still looks to the government to
provide answers to comprehensive and complex questions that have their
foundation within individual decisions and activities. One subject frequently
directed toward the government is individual-level information about the
economy — particularly, what occupations are in demand, what occupations pay well
and have lucrative outlooks, and ultimately, what occupation(s) should I build
my career upon?
It takes the
accumulation of a wide array of individual information to answer these
questions. Employers provide the foundation information about the occupations
they employ. Jobs are held by individuals, but employers provide the profile
information about the job itself, not any particular individual.
society desires to profile such a broad spectrum of the economy — occupational
profiles and the occupational distribution within the economy — only government
is in the unique position to collect, analyze and provide answers for said
desire. Yet, no government program or regulatory agency mandates any
comprehensive occupational reporting from individuals or businesses. Therefore,
government attempts to fill the void with an ongoing, robust and voluntary
survey of employers — a survey where employers are asked to provide details
about their various occupations, including descriptions, quantities,
wages/salaries and location. Through this survey emerges an occupational
portrait of an economy.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) structures and funds the survey, yet the
individual states conduct the survey. Under BLS administration, all states use
the same methodology; therefore, occupational profiles are comparable across
survey, analysts discover how industries are populated with various
occupations. Accountant is an occupation, yet accountants can be found across
many different industries. Other occupations may be more exclusive to certain
industries; for example, doctors are largely found only in the healthcare
industry. One of the survey’s products is that industries can be profiled with
their general mix of occupations. This is called an industry’s occupational
us back to the original questions: what occupations are in demand, what
occupations pay well and have lucrative outlooks, and ultimately, what
occupation(s) should I build my career upon?
foundation is to make informed forecasts about how industries will
expand/contract over the next 10 years. By applying existing occupational
staffing patterns to each industry’s projected change, a trained economic
analyst can then make an extrapolation about how occupations will
correspondingly increase/decrease. Knowledgeable analyst judgment further
refines the occupational expectations, such as knowing an occupation will grow
faster than in the past, with the result being a set of occupational projections
that accumulate to profile a state or regional economy.
A new set of
occupational projections are done every two years to keep the information fresh
even though economies do not change dramatically in short order. Because of
slow change, updated occupational projects generally continue the overall
message of preceding occupational projections. But economies do modify with
time, and therefore, subtle changes will arise with each new set of
occupational profile is structured from the general to the detailed, mimicking
the structure of a family tree. First, broad occupational categories are
defined, such as management or healthcare occupations; then, subcategories are
defined; and finally, individual occupations are defined. Individual occupations
are the heart of the occupational projections. But overall patterns and
characteristics do emerge when observing the broader categories.
While a Utah
statewide profile leads the way, Utah’s local economies are not homogenous;
therefore, nine Utah subregions are also profiled. Due to confidentiality
restraints and statistical reliability, the amount of occupations available
will diminish the smaller a subregion; but, occupations comprising the backbone
of a regional economy will be available.
The labor force is made up of people. People vary in every conceivable way. One person is artistic while another can only draw stick people. One person might be able to disassemble and reassemble a car engine while another might not know what an alternator is. We are different. We have different aptitudes and abilities.
Parallel to this variability, jobs are different. High levels of education do make it possible to work in high-skill occupations that return high incomes. But not everyone is cut out for higher education or has the means to obtain higher education. Therefore, they might end up in “lesser” or “unimportant” jobs.
But is that accurate? Are their job options inferior and unimportant? A recent Brookings Institution report brings to light a segment of the economy that is highly important yet is dependent upon the labor force that may not be built for, have the economic means, or desire to attain a college degree or higher.
Brookings identifies a niche they call the infrastructure economy. As Brookings notes, “Infrastructure helps facilitate the exchange of information, drive production, and deliver resources, spanning multiple sectors of the economy and serving as a foundation to long-term growth.” It goes further to note that “Infrastructure jobs depend on a steady stream of talent to construct, operate, design, and govern the country’s major physical assets.” (article continues below)
**Filter the viz below to see information on the infrastructure jobs in your area**
Brookings documents why these infrastructure jobs can appeal to the individual. “Infrastructure occupations also boast competitive wages with relatively low barriers to entry, frequently paying up to 30 percent more to workers with a high school diploma or less compared to those in all other occupations. Plumbers, truck mechanics, and power line installers are among the numerous infrastructure occupations that fall into this category, which tend to emphasize on-the-job training rather than higher levels of formal education.”
Brookings identified 95 occupations that support the infrastructure foundation. Their work was well founded and designed. This intrigued us to develop a profile of said infrastructure configuration for the Utah economy. We could not replicate the Brookings work in terms of finalizing upon infrastructure industries, but we could place our focus instead upon all infrastructure occupations.
Infrastructure occupations do not have to be found in only infrastructure industries. A helicopter pilot, an infrastructure occupation, may fly a medical helicopter for a hospital, even though said hospital is not categorized as an infrastructure industry.
What is important is that there are occupations that Brookings has identified as key occupations that help to keep the economy operating, growing, designed, and governed. And a practical appeal is that many of these jobs offer low barriers to entry while supplying competitive wages.
Across the nation, these occupations number 11.9 million, or 8.8 percent of all occupational employment. In Utah, these jobs number around 121,400, also 8.8 percent of all occupational employment. Again, the appeal of these jobs is not just that they fundamentally support so many other jobs and industries in the economy, but that these jobs don’t require a high level of education or formalized training for entry. Oftentimes these occupations emphasize only on-the-job training. Yet, these jobs pay on average 22 percent higher in Utah than other occupations that are willing to accept only a high school diploma or less.
Utah does have its unique structuring across its different geographic regions, and this will include the possibility of a different profile of the Infrastructure economy in each local region. The following is an Infrastructure profile for the Ogden-Clearfield region.
Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Infrastructure occupations in the Ogden-Clearfield MSA, (which includes Davis, Morgan, Weber and Box Elder counties), comprise 8.7 percent of total employment. In particular, the area is a warehousing and distribution hub, so there are high levels of related occupations such as truck drivers, freight movers, and package handlers.
In addition to distribution activity, there are many infrastructure jobs surrounding Hill Air Force Base and corresponding aerospace industry. Avionics technicians and logisticians, for example, are concentrated in the Ogden-Clearfield MSA at a rate more than 5 times that of the U.S. average. Control/valve installers and aircraft mechanics/service technicians are also highly concentrated here– both nearly 4 times that of the U.S. average.
The oil refineries in Davis County also contribute a significant number of infrastructure jobs. Gas compressor/gas pumping station operators and petroleum pump system operators/refinery operators/gaugers are employed in the Ogden-Clearfield MSA at a concentration nearly 3 times that of the U.S. average.
These infrastructure jobs compose the backbone of the local economy and provide the very structure and support upon which a community can grow and thrive. As such, it’s appropriate that these individuals tend to be paid higher wages. Compared to other individuals with similar levels of education, infrastructure workers in the Ogden-Clearfield MSA make about 23 percent more on average ($18.24 per hour versus $14.89 per hour).
The Census Bureau’s online mapping tool provides a wealth of
location-specific labor market information
“If you want to put yourself on the map,
publish your own map.” Ashleigh Brilliant
This isn’t your same old blog
post about data. Instead of analyzing and sharing data, this post covers how to
access an extremely useful “big data” labor market information tool. What is
this tool? The U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap web-based mapping and reporting
What’s so great about
OnTheMap? Typically, we report labor market information at the state and county
level. Local-level data is harder to come by. Along with the ability to provide
labor market profiles of small and large nonstandard areas, OnTheMap
graphically demonstrates where people work and where workers live. Users can
define their own geographies and obtain data and maps at the census-block level
of detail. This flexibility can quickly provide information for emergency and
transportation planning, site location and economic development.
Do you want to understand
commuting patterns for a particular area? OnTheMap can generate maps of outflow
Do you want to know the basic characteristics of workers in your
town? OnTheMap has that information.
Do you want to identify the employment characteristics
along a specific stretch of highway? OnTheMap can deliver that data.
want to discern how many workers live within a 50-mile radius of a particular
site? OnTheMap delivers.
Where does this data come
from? OnTheMap combines federal and state administrative data on workers and
employees with Census Bureau census and survey data. Don’t worry. Using
state-of-the-art methods, the Census Bureau is committed to protecting the
confidentiality of business and personal information.
Where People Work
Let’s run through a few
examples of how OnTheMap outputs can help you understand your local economy. Suppose
the Kaysville City Council wants to know where the residents of their town
work. OnTheMap indicates almost a quarter of the city’s working residents are
employed in Salt Lake City.
Next, the mayor wants to know
how many workers travel into Kaysville for employment. OnTheMap suggests that
far fewer workers commute in than out of Kaysville. In-commuters are most
likely to drive from Layton.
Labor Market Characteristics
Now, these local government
officials have decided they would like to know the characteristics of those
folks that work or live in Kaysville. OnTheMap can provide age-group, earnings,
industry, race/ethnicity, gender and educational attainment information. For
example, OnTheMap shows the following characteristics for working residents of Kaysville:
One-fourth are 29
years or younger
48 percent make
more than $3,333 a month
8 percent work in
382 are Hispanic
26 percent have
at least a Bachelor’s degree
43 percent are
A company thinking of
locating to Kaysville is interested in the number (and characteristics) of
workers within a standard commuting distance of a particular worksite. Economic
development professionals can specify a particular radius and obtain a report.
Other shapes (donut and plume) are also available. In addition, users can draw
their own polygons in OnTheMap. To determine how many workers may be
inconvenienced by a road construction project, just draw a line along the
length of the project and “buffer” the selection.
You begin to see what a
valuable informational tool OnTheMap can be for planning and economic