By Bart Raeymaekers
Utah’s manufacturing industry consists of approximately 3,500 companies that provide 125,000 jobs throughout the state. The output of the manufacturing industry represents more than 14 percent of the gross state product, whereas it accounts for only 9 percent of the state’s employment. Almost 80 percent of the 3,500 Utah manufacturers employ 20 or fewer employees and, thus, these small businesses form the backbone of the Utah manufacturing industry.
Reports about the manufacturing industry generally focus on a decline of the number of jobs, largely due to manufacturers off-shoring production overseas and robots replacing production workers. However, the Utah manufacturing industry has experienced an upward trend over the past years. Since 2010, manufacturing employment has grown between 1.5 percent and 2.8 percent per year, adding more than 15,000 jobs between 2010 and 2016, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.