From the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2010, Box Elder County has experienced a 16.8% drop in employment, currently sits at 8.8% unemployment -- one of the highest numbers in Utah -- and has seen an overall wage drop of 5% since 2009.
In Box Elder less people have work, and those who do are working for much less.
Governor Gary Herberts salvo? He "saved" 800 jobs at ATK, maybe... in Davis County.
Lost in the discussion over the 800 jobs (maybe) saved (in Davis County) over 20 years is a glaring set of questions regarding Box Elder and Herbert's two years of leadership: Why is a county sitting literally on top of both an interstate and a railway hub, less than an hour from an international airport, completely dependent only two large employers who have to shrink their workforce rapidly and repeatedly?
Just 20 minutes NE of Box Elder, in Cache Valley, unemployment is much lower, and wages have shrunk much less. Why? Cache Valley benefits from a diversified job market, boosted by both research at Utah State University, a highly educated workforce, and plentiful small, local businesses that have survived despite Gary Herbert's top-heavy economic "strategy" for Utah (County).
Consider a manufacturing facility building, say solar panels -- and all the research employment it brings with it -- employing 1-1.5K. What better place could such a business be located in Utah than spacious Box Elder County? And again: right on top of an interstate, a railway hub, minutes from two universities and an international airport.
Jesse Harris, on Peter Corroon's plan for rural job growth in Utah, writes:
Consider which states have been weathering this economy. Most of them are primarily agriculture-based, but they’ve been making significant investments in both the technology and energy industries. Much of this development is occurring outside of major cities.And JM Bell, on the "Herbert Effect" in Washington County, said yesterday:
Acting Governor Herbert has a list of things he wants to keep pretty much the same.Box Elder County deserves a better plan.