The two states of Utah: A story of boom and bust

Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News

VERNAL — A Gallup poll released in late February revealed Utah residents are the most positive in the nation about their state’s economic conditions.

The results must not have included those who live in Uintah and Duchesne counties, Utah’s oil- and natural-gas rich country that is full of vacant storefronts, long unemployment lines and plunging sales tax revenues.

“With the oil and natural gas collapse, there have been losses, and they are hurting everywhere in the Uinta Basin with this setback,” said Scott Smith, a regional economist in the basin for the state Department of Workforce Services.

“The rest of the state is actually booming, and they are out there dying and feeling really isolated. From our point of view, things are really rough. The rest of the state is, ‘Happy Days are Here Again.'” (…)

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