Ogden-Clearfield job growth tops in U.S.

Sep 29 2011 - 5:40am

OGDEN -- Weber, Davis and Morgan counties are leading major metropolitan areas in the percentage of job growth, according to research compiled by a national business publication.

American City Business Journals analyzed job figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The publication determined the Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, comprising Weber, Davis and Morgan counties, posted a 3.73 percent increase in jobs, the largest in the nation, between August 2010 and August 2011.

The number of jobs added in the Ogden-Clearfield metro area during that period was about 7,200, ranking it 35th among the 100 major metro areas, the publication said.

The Salt Lake City metro area ranked 25th in job percentage gains and 24th in the number of actual jobs added.

Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey, who is not seeking re-election, said Wednesday he's pleased with the report.

"This is very gratifying news to us because this has been a focus of our administration," he said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.

"In 2010, we recruited companies that will eventually hire more than 2,200 workers. We're on track this year to do about the same. We will be making major announcements in the next month of significant companies that are moving to Ogden."

Godfrey did not provide details.

A major coup was attracting the sales and distribution operation of CSN Stores LLC, which moved in March from Boston to Business Depot Ogden, said Steve Fishburn, Ogden's business development manager.

CSN has since changed its name to Wayfair and is one of the largest online retailers of home furnishings in the U.S. It will employ 850 workers in Ogden over the next five years, Fishburn said.

The city was also successful in retaining 450 manufacturing jobs from Levolor Inc., a division of Newell-Rubbermaid Inc., scheduled to leave Ogden and Salt Lake City in late 2010 for Mexico. All of the jobs were consolidated into a single facility near the Ogden Industrial Park, Fishburn said.

"We have been able to showcase Ogden as a very desirable, affordable place to do business," he said.

"It's no surprise that Ogden and Weber County have become one of the best places in the country for job creation," said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governors Office of Economic Development.

"Ogden and the county have drawn many companies in the outdoor- products industry, which is one of Utah's key economic clusters. The focus on companies in that strategic cluster has helped them grow and recruit many of the best-known outdoor firms in the world."

Over the past 18 months, Davis County has added about 3,000 acres for business sites, largely through rezoning and tax increment financing in cooperation with municipalities, Kent Sulser, director of economic development for the county, told the Standard-Examiner earlier this month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranking marks the second time this month that the Ogden-Clearfield metro area has received national recognition for job creation.

A study by the Brookings Institution ranked the Ogden-Clearfield metro area second among the nation's major metros for a job gain of 1.8 percent during the second quarter of 2011.

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