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United States of America (USA) - Utah

Utah is located in the western part of the United States and is the 45th state. It shares borders with Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. There are vast swathes of the state which are not inhabited due to the terrain. Much of the population lives long what is known as the ‘Wasatch Front’, taking in Salt Lake City as well as several other urban areas. There is a variety of terrains in the state, from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Basin. There are five main metropolitan areas of the state: Salt Lake City, Logan, Provo-Orem, Ogden-Clearfield and St George.

Many people will be familiar with Utah as the home of the Mormon faith. Up to 60% of the citizens of the state are reported to be members of the church. The state has become popular with expats, and not just those of the Mormon faith. The estimated population in 2009 was just over 2.75 million people.

The main industries in the town are mining and tourism, as well as sports. The climate is varied depending upon the area. It is a dry climate but does suffer from heavy storms from autumn to spring.

Utah – Employment

The economy in Utah relies heavily on agriculture and mining, although one of the main employers in the state is the local government. There is an unemployment rate of 6.8%, which is much lower than many other states. The production of petroleum is another major industry and there are several oil companies based near Salt Lake City. Qualified and experience professionals in the industry may find that work is easy to come by in the area and if you are already working for one of these companies in another country, then transferring to the US under the sponsorship of your existing employer can be straightforward.

The tourism industry employs large numbers of people and there are attractions which are open all year round, so ensuring that staff are not just employed on a seasonal basis. There are several numbers of national parks in the region as well as sports facilities. Expats hoping to find work in the tourism industry will find that hospitality businesses such as hotels and restaurants have the largest number of vacancies.

Mining is still a major part of the economy in the state, with everything from coal to zinc being mined in the region. Mining professionals are in demand for management positions although there will be few vacancies for unskilled workers.

There has been a great effort in recent times to create new jobs for workers in the construction industries and some industries are reporting difficulties in finding enough workers to fill the vacancies available. This is especially true of the construction and petroleum industries, so expats with these skills may find it easier to find work in Utah.

Utah – Housing

As with many other states there are measures in place to kick start the housing market and there are schemes to provide affordable housing for families that are having difficulty affording their own home. Many people have been victims of foreclosures and the stagnant property market has seen prices drop rapidly in some areas, although some parts of the state seemed to be immune from the economic crisis. Buying a home in Salt Lake City is now a good investment, as it is expected that values will rise again with the growing economy and due to the fact that more people are being tempted back onto the property ladder.

Homes in Salt Lake City range from apartments in condo developments to detached houses. There are also large numbers of homes lying empty which have been built by property developers from other areas and which can now be bought at a price much lower than their original asking price. It is housing in the affordable areas which has been least affected by the downturn.

There are rental properties available in all areas although some areas are more expensive than others. Finding a rental property is relatively easy as there are several real estate agents that deal in lettings. You may be required to pay a fee to the agent and you will need to provide references from your employer and your bank.

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