According to LinkedIn and its workforce confidence index — which is based on workers’ job security, financial situation and career outlook — Provo was ranked as the second-most confident city in the country.
George Anders, senior editor at large for LinkedIn, said, at the beginning of April, the company introduced its workforce confidence index during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal was to get a sense of how people felt about their immediate situation, their finances and their long-term career.
The polls occurred every two weeks as time progressed through the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, LinkedIn built a large sample, about 4,000 to 5,000 respondents each time, that allowed for precise data that could be divided by industry, age range and parts of the country.
The data was originally split into the big six regions of the United States, but it was soon realized that several surveys could be combined to make for a massive number of respondents, allowing researchers to look into 62 different metropolitan areas.
“The latest survey looks at the summer results, July through September, for these 62 metro areas and, boom, there you see Provo really high on the list,” Anders said.
According to LinkedIn, areas in the top 10 of its workforce confidence index tended to benefit from population growth and logistics hubs, things that can be easily noticed in and around Utah County.
Additionally, tech companies continue to move into Utah County, and those companies are becoming increasingly more comfortable with their remote working experiences.
They are realizing that it is productive for their employees to telecommute, and if the workforce is OK, those companies could continue in that format indefinitely, according to LinkedIn.
This all adds to that workforce confidence index, as well.
“Provo is catching the rising wave in a lot of different ways,” Anders said. “We focused on the tech side, and you’ve got some very fast-growing companies that are indigenous, and then you’ve also got a lot of the larger coastal tech companies realizing that having a Provo base of operations has a strong advantage.”
Anders added Provo being so close to nature allows for a variety of recreation options, which allowed residents to not feel as confined to their homes or apartments as people in metropolitan areas. This often overlooked aspect was a key factor in determining people’s mental health and attitudes, as well.
It also helps, Anders said, that the state of Utah has continued to perform well during the pandemic.
“One of the ways we can see it is what isn’t happening,” Anders said of the health of Utah as a whole. “When we look nationwide, we notice a really sharp gap between people who are employed and at one level of overall confidence, and then people who are out of work and looking for a job.”
“In an area with higher unemployment, you’ve got a larger slice of people who are bringing in lower scores because they are confronting all of the challenges that come with being unemployed,” he added. “Utah’s got one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and the fact that you have a lower representation of people who are out of work means that your overall confidence scores are going to look higher.”
With regards to the messages people should take away from this ranking, Anders added people in Provo are in one of the strongest areas in the country right now.
“You’ve chosen well in terms of where you’re living now, and you should be in an environment where opportunities are bigger and where anxieties are smaller,” Anders said.
With readership on LinkedIn primarily consisting of companies looking at where they should situate workers and the possibility of future expansion, Anders said going into a high-confidence area is going to be very appealing for those companies.