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Where are the Utah workers? It depends.

It’s a phrase you’ve likely seen in the news a lot lately: the Great Resignation. What it means is that more workers are leaving the workforce — or at the very least, their current roles — to seek out new opportunities.

This shift in workers’ attitudes is interesting to dive into. It’s particularly interesting to study the root causes and attitudes of those Utah resident who have decided to change course in their careers. As it turns out, it’s a shift in something beyond just life in America in the time of the pandemic, although that’s a part of it.

For businesses who are thinking about continuing their progress, having some ways to keep that going is now more crucial than ever. At First Utah Bank, there are many ways to help with money management, including our merchant services offerings.

What workers are seeking now

It’s easy to see how economics during the pandemic may have changed the game board a bit. If you worked in an industry that was closed or scaled back as a non-essential operation, you may have taken a role somewhere else — and now that has become not a temporary solution but your current career reality.

But, some other options don’t involve returning to the workforce at all. Some baby boomers took early retirement because of stimulus packages and a thriving stock market that made that transition position. Also, more than 2 million women nationwide decided to leave the workforce in the last year and don’t anticipate a return.

“Demographically, they are within families that have managed to learn to live on a single income with their partners, and they have decided they will remain at home,” says Arran Steward, the co-founder of job.com.

This points to a factor that goes beyond an income source. It speaks just as much to a change in paradigm in the workforce. 

“The pandemic gave everyone a chance to step back and take a look at, ‘What am I doing, where do I want my career to go,’” says Justin Rohatinsky, a recruitment manager for Robert Half. “Everyone had an opportunity to think about whether a career path was available at their employer—do their values align, do they offer flexibility? If anything is not in place, if a company showed its true colors over the pandemic…they are jumping.”

The changing times and how they are affecting Utah

All of this is taking place as Utah is in a great position financially. The unemployment rate has been quite low, often in the 2-3% range, which makes it one of the top states in the nation. There have also been more than 53,000 new positions added to the state’s business community since September 2019.

Mark Knold, the chief economist with the state’s Department of Workforce Services, notes that position number shows the state has a bounce-back factor from the pandemic that other states don’t possess.

“There remains room for improvement as the population’s labor force engagement is below what it was before the pandemic,” Knold says. “For some, trepidations remain about re-engaging in work (and) public interaction. We view this as a natural and short-term condition and not a new normal.”

What those concerns do show is that those looking for a new position or for employment, in general, are seeing a boom of their own — in terms of wages being offered. Another economist with Workforce Services, Michael Jeanfreau says that people who are seeking a bump in earnings with a new role are in a great position to find it. Even though these positions may be at the low end of the pay scale, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect wages across the board.

“When the bottom rises everybody else rises, too,” Jeanfreau says. “From an economic perspective, they’re all related. Positive upward economic mobility affects everyone.”

How merchant services can help with money management

As companies continue to navigate the road to a stronger workforce, there are other techniques and tools they can use to continue their progress. For merchant services, First Utah Bank and our partner Select Bankcard — another business from Utah — allow you to accept electronic payments from the internet or mobile as well as at retail locations.

Having a merchant account can lead to some excellent benefits for businesses, including providing customers with convenient, flexible ways to pay for your goods and services. Accepting cards through online means also can streamline transactions for your business, allowing for better cash flow forecasting and management. There are also fewer instances of bad checks, avoiding the expenses and inconvenience that occur when a check bounces.

For location shopping, there’s also Clover Station, a system for accepting electronic payments with a fast-as-lightning processor, end-to-end encryption and data tokenization, and acceptance of chip, magstripe or contactless payment methods.

Learn more about merchant services in Lehi and how they can help strengthen your business at our website.