Defense spending in Utah creates a huge economic impact for the state, according to a new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. Huge — to the tune of $9 billion and 109,000 direct or indirect jobs, the research shows. The impact on the economic health of the state is about equal to that of the construction industry.
The numbers represent economic activity from the military and other defense activities for 2015, the most recent year for which complete data are available. The study shows federal defense spending accounted for 5.8 percent of Utah’s employment, 7.1 percent of total earnings and 6.2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product — one of the primary indicators used to measure the state’s economic health.