Utah’s outdoor recreation economy grew by 27% in 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – Outdoor recreation has a significant and beneficial economic influence on the U.S. economy, according to economic data for 2021 given by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

According to the BEA Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, the outdoor recreation sector of the economy in Utah increased by 27.3% between 2020 and 2021, and outdoor recreation generated 66,736 jobs, $6.1 billion in value-added for Utah, and provided 2.7% of the state’s total GDP in 2021.

“Time and time again, the outdoor recreation industry has been a consistent economic and jobs driver for Utah, and our communities throughout the state are seeing the economic benefits from access to the outdoors,” said Tara McKee, Division of Outdoor Recreation’s associate director of grants and planning.

“These numbers confirm what we’ve seen on the ground: people are flocking to the outdoors like never before, and we will continue to work to ensure that all Utahns can live a healthy and active lifestyle through outdoor recreation.”

This is the largest recorded measure for Utah since the BEA started calculating the size of the outdoor recreation economy in 2012.

These recent figures demonstrate that, on a national scale, outdoor recreation accounts for 3% of the American workforce, generates $862 billion in economic output, and provides 4.5 million jobs. As a result, the outdoor recreation industry makes a larger contribution to the American economy than farming, extraction of oil and gas, mining, and utilities.

For the fifth year in a row, the BEA has made public data from the government regarding this significant industry sector. The information released demonstrates how the outdoor industry, which was crucial to local economies and society during the pandemic, has since experienced amazing growth.

Based on this data, the outdoor recreation industry recovered better than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to be a reliable source of strength nationally and a huge employer locally.

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