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Mountain West States Lead In Job Growth ... Thanks, Millennials / ilkercelik

Utah and Idaho were the leading states for employment growth over the past year, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also in the top five were Nevada and Colorado.

According to Chad Shearer with the nonprofit think tank the Brookings Institution, much of that employment growth is being driven by people moving here.

“Right now the Intermountain West’s story is really one about growth begetting growth,” Shearer said.

He said compared to the rest of the West, the Intermountain region is building housing at a faster rate to keep up with demand.

“That has attracted a lot of millennials, a lot of young people, and especially a lot of educated young people. And so that’s really a big driving force in the growth of these economies.”

With those millennials comes demand for construction, health care and retail sector jobs.

But Shearer warned that more jobs does not always mean good jobs, and this is an opportunity for states to prioritize quality employment along with growth.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2020 KUER 90.1. To see more, visit .

Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his Bachelor's Degree in geography from the University of Washington and a Master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible.