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SALT LAKE CITY -- One of the biggest construction projects in the country continues to benefit Utah's job market as out-of-state competition moves in.
The City Creek project is rising above downtown Salt Lake, and workers will be performing a new trick coming up next week.
We're starting to see the initial signs of Utah laying the groundwork in the recovery -- being better than the national recovery.
–Mark Knold, DWS chief economist
Flying above City Creek, you can count the cranes. At one point, the project had nine tower cranes going; currently it's eight, and next week it will be seven.
Wagstaff Crane will soon be disassembling the tallest tower crane ever erected on a job site in Utah. The company says, in the last year, business has slowly started picking up.
Things bottomed out in the fall of 2008.
"It was one of the deals where you thought what's wrong with the phones? The phones just quit ringing," says Jim Wagstaff, co-owner of Wagstaff Crane.
Wagstaff hears of other companies suffering in other states. He's seen competition move into Utah from both Nevada and California, which is not surprising given that City Creek contributes an estimated $1 million a day to the local economy.
"I would say Utah usually does well. We've got a good workforce here. Our rates are low. Our construction costs seem to be low," Wagstaff says.
"We're starting to see the initial signs of Utah laying the groundwork in the recovery -- being better than the national recovery," says Mark Knold, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
Projects like City Creek are helping in that recovery, as are announcements like Adobe expanding in the state -- bringing 1,000 jobs -- and C3/CustomerContactChannels opening a western hub in Salt Lake, which will add 500 jobs.
But Knold cautions the recovery will still be slow.
"Our perceptions are desires. We want to get this thing over with. We want to get going. We want to start growing and get things going again," he says.
This news comes on the heels of new national unemployment numbers released Thursday that show no change from the month before. Economic experts say that is simply a small bump on the road to recovery.