Tech industry spurs job growth in Utah town

Provo UtahBig things are on the horizon for Provo, Utah.

Provo had the fastest job growth rate of any town in the U.S. in 2015, according to CNN Money. It has an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent, almost half the national rate of 5 percent. In addition, the town posted an annual growth rate of 5.2 percent, compared to the national annual growth rate of 1.9 percent.

The metro area of Provo, located in northern Utah, is home to more than half a million people and employs a workforce of 274,000 people, according to the source. The largest employers in the area are colleges, including Brigham Young University and Utah Valley State University, and hospitals, and its economy also benefits from several premier ski areas located nearby.

Tech boom
However, it’s a booming tech industry that is responsible for most of the new job growth.

“Our start up economy is just crazy … we call ourselves Silicon Slopes,” said Rona Rahlf, president of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce in Provo, in an interview with CNN Money.

Entrepreneurs and established tech companies alike have flocked to Provo for its low cost of living, young atmosphere – more than half of the population is under age 30 – and fast Internet, the source reported. Provo is one of only three towns or cities in the U.S. that currently has ultra-fast Google FiberĀ Internet access. The other two cities are Kansas City and Austin.

The large companies that have set up shop in or near Provo include Adobe and Ebay, along with several companies that have valuations of or above $1 billion, such as Vivint, a home security company, and software developer

Housing market
In addition, Provo draws new residents with itsĀ low housing rates, according to the Standard-Examiner. In the Multi-Indicator Market Index published by Freddie Mac, Northern Utah was named one of the top housing markets in the country.

“Housing markets such as Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden have strong buyer demand [and] they’re also still largely affordable for the typical family looking for a median priced home,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, in an interview with the paper.

Non-tech industries are also seeing positive job numbers. Job growth in the construction industry was in the double-digits in 2015, CNN Money reported.