By NBC News • March 13, 2018 12:03:22The U.S. is still in the midst of an economic downturn, but its tourism numbers have been rising.
That’s not good news for Utah, which is facing an estimated $1 billion deficit for the fiscal year that begins March 1, the first quarter of 2019.
Utah’s population grew by 3 percent last year, according to a new report from The Salt Lake Tribune.
But Utah has one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in the country, with an average of just over 3 percent.
The tourism numbers don’t tell the entire story, though.
According to a 2017 study from the University of Utah, Utah lost $5.4 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2019 alone.
That is a huge chunk of the state’s $60 billion budget.
Utah also has the nation’s fourth highest poverty rate, with 12.6 percent of its population living in poverty.
To make matters worse, Utah also ranks near the bottom of states that have some of the country’s highest rates of homelessness, with a staggering 22 percent of the population living on the streets.
The report also found that Utah was a “hot spot for foreign-born people seeking work” who were “losing jobs at home and abroad.”
As part of the report, The Salt River Project, a nonprofit group that advocates for Utahns, also found high unemployment rates, with more than 4,000 people jobless, compared to about 1,800 in Arizona, 3,300 in California and nearly 1,000 in Texas.
“I think what we’re seeing here is an opportunity for the state of Utah to be the next U.C.L.A., and to really show that we’re not going to let our economic situation get to the point where we don’t have the ability to continue to grow the state,” said Kristin Tull, the executive director of the Utah Association of Governments.
Tull said the state is working hard to find new businesses to fill the job voids that are occurring because of the downturn.
She said the group is working with the federal government to help businesses hire new workers and to hire workers with the skills they need to survive in a new economy.
“We need to do everything we can to help keep people out of poverty,” she said.
Tillerson, a former Republican governor of Utah who is now President Donald Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state, has called for “bold action” in the state.
The U.N. report released Monday said that Utah is the country.
Tolstoy, the former czarist who authored The Brothers Karamazov, said Utah needs to do its part by making sure its economy is strong and its tourism sector is strong.
Tilman said that while Utah has an impressive number of hotels and attractions, the state has not invested enough in its infrastructure, which has been at the center of the recession.
Tull said Utah has “to get its act together” to make sure the economy can recover in the coming years.
Utah has not yet announced how it plans to spend the money it receives in federal stimulus funds to help with its economic problems.