Often known as the Crossroads of the West, Salt Lake City is the capital as well as the most populated city of the state of Utah in United States. With a population of more than 191 thousand and a total area of more than 110 square miles, Salt Lake City is at the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area with more than 1 million people. The city had the name of Great Salt Lake City because of its closeness to the Great Salt Lake, but later became just Salt Lake City since 1868. The lowest point of the city is more than 4 thousand feet close to the Jordan River and the highest point is more than 9 thousand feet, which is the Grandview Peak.
The city has been historically deemed to be a holy one by many due to it having the headquarters of Temple Square and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The city gained the nickname of Crossroads of the West because of the economic boom initiated by mining booms, immigration of international LDS groups and creation of the first transcontinental railroad. Salt Lake City is also the industrial banking center of the nation. The city has a flourishing tourist industry for its lucrative outdoor recreation facilities based predominantly on skiing and hosting of Winter Olympics.
The city has a vibrant cultural ambiance. A home to numerous historically rich museums, Salt Lake City has the Church History Museum close to the Temple Square which has collections ranging of 2 centuries pertinent to the history of LDS Church. The city also has Clark Planetarium with an IMAX theater, children’s museum and Discovery Gateway. There is the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum of Utah, both situated in the University of Utah. The city offers several venues for amateur as well as professional theatre, with numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway performances and a number of classic movie theatres including Broadway Theatre and Tower Theatre. Not just rock and roll, hip hop, blues, punk and indie groups, the city also flaunts underground metal.
Salt Lake City is rich in the literary scene as well. It has the biggest genealogical library in the world – the Family History Library, which is open to everyone free of charge. The Salt Lake City main library showcases a distinct architectural elegance, hence acquiring an Institute Honor Award for Architecture. The city has sports groups such as the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer and Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League. For those interested more in nature, there exist many parks inside the city. Liberty Park is the biggest public part of the city with more than 100 acres, including a lake with 2 islands. There are Olympic focused parks and sites in the city, including the Utah Olympic Park, Olympic Cauldron Park and Utah Olympic Oval.
The Salt Lake City used to be a farming community which eventually depended on mining till 1980s until global competition became more and more aggressive. Named to be the Crossroads of the West because of the city’s railroads, Salt Lake had nearby mining, steel and railroad operations as a healthy income source. Now the city is a diverse economic area, being the commercial, government and industrial focus for the state of Utah, with major focus on the service industry. A major portion of the city’s employment is provided by the service sector, particularly the health care and computer services as well as transportation and utilities. A lot of jobs come from the government sector as well, more than 21 percent of employment, especially via the University of Utah, State of Utah and Salt Lake County. The city is the biggest retail and wholesale market of the state of Utah.
Many domestic financial companies have their branch offices in this city, strengthening the city’s position as the core of banking and finance for the area. It is in fact the biggest industrial banking center of the nation, with many establishments of industrial banks such as BMW, CIT, UBS and Target. There has been a considerable growth of call centers in the city, probably due to the mild western accent of Utah natives, found to be pleasant by many people. Big brands such as Marriot Hotels, Delta Air Lines, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and JetBlue Airways have reservation call centers in this city.
Salt Lake City has a flourishing tourism sector as we ass as constantly successful construction sector. The tourism of the city has been boosted massively by the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, followed with the opening of a plethora of hotels and restaurants for the event. The city is known for producing items such as electronics, petroleum based goods and missiles. It has a Fortune 500 company, Huntsman Corporation, and 2 Fortune 100 organizations, Questar Corporation and Zions Bancorporation. The business and professional services are important areas too, contributing in the robust economy of Salt Lake City.
With a declining unemployment level of 3.3 percent and increasing job growth of the same rate, Salt Lake City has been ranked 7th as the best place for business and careers, 25th in job growth, 57th in cost of doing business and 73rd in education. The city constantly ranks favorably in almost every area, be it in job growth or living cost. The economic accomplishment of the city has been complimented many, giving the city names as New Gold Standard and Wall Street of the West. Making its way in several lists such as best performing cities in the US, best metropolitan in job creation and best cities for tech jobs, Salt Lake City has proven time and again that it is a great place for businesses and jobs.
The city has grown considerably in terms of the number of job opportunities in a few years with its rate of unemployment being lower than the US average. The maximum growth in employment in the private sector has been propelled by industries such as technology, trade, transportation and utilities as well as finance, health care, education and construction. The city also has a thriving tourism and hospitality sector, with its international airport witnessing thousands of domestic and international journeys every year. Salt Lake City is now enjoying an economic boom with more and more big brand entering the city such as Microsoft, Adobe Systems and 3M Health Information Systems.
There are more than 124 thousand business establishments in Salt Lake City with fewer than 10 employees, more than 37 thousand companies with 10 to 50 employees, more than 8 thousand companies with 50 to 250 employees and more than 1 thousand businesses with over 250 employees. The city boasts the biggest presence of local, federal and state governments that accounts for around 21 percent employment. 18 percent of the jobs of Salt Lake City come from trade, transportation and utilities industries, predominantly due to top employers such as Delta Air Lines at Salt Lake City International Airport. The same amount of percentage of employment is provided by the business and professional services sector – 18 percent. Health and health educational services consist of 10 percent of city’s jobs. More than 1 thousand new jobs have been added to the service industry of the city the previous year alone.
The top employers of the Salt Lake City includes State of Utah with more than 22 thousand employees, Intermountain Health Care with more than 22 thousand employees, University of Utah with more than 17 thousand employees, Salt Lake County with more than 6 thousand employees, Smith’s Food & Drug Centers with more than 6 thousand employees, US Postal Service with more than 5.5 thousand employees, Delta Air Lines with more than 5 thousand employees, Novus Credit Services with more than 5 thousand employees and Salt Lake City School District with more than 4 thousand employees.
When it comes to private organizations, the top employers of Salt Lake City includes Associated Food Stores Inc. with more than 4.5 thousand employees and above $907 million as revenue, Larry H. Miller Group with more than 4 thousand employees and above $2550 million revenue, Clyde Companies with more than 2.5 thousand employees and above $188.6 million revenue, Deer Valley Resort with more than 2.5 thousand employees, ICON Health and Fitness with more than 1.6 thousand employees and Vivint Inc with more than 1.5 thousand employees. Salt Lake City has a very pro-business environment due to advantages such as diverse economy, 5 percent flat corporate tax rate, tax rebate incentives for corporations and a bilingual workforce with median age of around thirty.
Several factors play important roles in making Salt Lake City a prosperous job market, including the comparatively low cost of living. In a comparison done among the cost of living across a number of metropolitan areas of the country, it has been seen that the affordability of living in Salt Lake City is the best. According to the Economic Policy Institute, an average family with 2 adults and 2 children would require to make almost $62 thousand per year to have a decent living standard in this city. A family of the same size would require making an extra $44 thousand for the equal level of living standard in Washington, D.C. There is also no local income tax rate in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City has a college attainment rate of around 32.7 percent with a rate of graduate degree attainment of around 11.4 percent. There are a number of postsecondary educational options in Salt Lake City, including the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College, Westminster College, Utah State University, The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, Neumont University, LDS Business College, Brigham Young University and others. The city has several trade and technical schools as well such as Utah College of Massage Therapy and Healing Mountain Massage School.
The University of Utah, founded in 1850, was formerly known as the University of Deseret. Spreading over more than 1.5 thousand acres, this public research university has more than 3 thousand academic staff and 16 thousand administrative staff, with more than 31 thousand students, including over 23 thousand undergraduates and over 7 thousand postgraduates. University of Utah is one of the top 50 U.S. universities in terms of total research expenditures with more than $486 million budget in 2014. The university has had around 3 Nobel Prize winners, 3 MacArthur Fellows, 22 Rhodes Scholars and many Pulitzer Prize winners as its students, faculty members or researchers. It has gained several nicknames over time including the U, the U of U or just Utah. It has become the flagship university of the Utah state and the oldest institution of higher education here, offering over hundred undergraduate majors and 92 graduate degree program, including the only medical school of Utah, School of Medicine. Undergraduate tuition fees range from over $8 thousand for Utah residents to $26 thousand for nonresidents. University of Utah has 7 men’s and 11 women’s sports team. It has the athletic team, the Utes, which participates in NCAA Division I athletics, with its football team gaining popularity for winning 2005 Fiesta Bowl and 2009 Sugar Bowl.
Salt Lake City also has Salt Lake Community College. Established in 1948, this community college has more than 345 full time faculty members and over 30 thousand students. With the motto “Step Ahead”, this is the biggest 2 year college in the state with a diverse student body, serving over 60 thousand students on ten campuses and via online classes. Being a community college, it concentrates on offering associate degrees which the students can transfer to other 4 year university in Utah in order to meet the first 2 years of conditions for bachelor’s degree. The college has open enrollment with around 95 percent of the students being Utah residents. It offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs in academic, vocational and technical fields.
There is the Western Governors University located in Salt Lake City which is a private nonprofit institution established in 1997. With the motto “A new kind of U”, the university has more than 2 thousand academic staff and over 77 thousand students with over 60 thousand graduates by 2016. It utilizes a competency based learning model where the students work online. The university has 4 colleges providing bachelors and master’s degree programs, including the Teacher’s College, the College of Business, the College of Health Professionals and the College of Information Technology. Western Governors University has acquired the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning, Best Value in Teacher Education and other prestigious awards and recognitions.