SALT LAKE CITY — Outdoor recreation is having a significant and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy, according to economic data for 2021 from 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 Utah’s economy grew 27.3% between 2020 and 2021, and outdoor recreation created 66,736 jobs, valued $6.1 billion for Utah and 2, 7% of state total GDP in 2021.
“The outdoor recreation industry has consistently been a consistent economic and employment driver for Utah, and our communities across the state are seeing the economic benefits of access to the great outdoors,” said Tara McKee, associate director of the Division of Outdoor Recreation Grants and Planning.
“These numbers validate what we’ve seen on the ground: people are flocking to the great outdoors like never before, and we will continue to work to ensure all Utahns can lead healthy and active lifestyles through outdoor recreation.”
This is the largest recorded measurement for Utah since the BEA began calculating the size of the outdoor recreation economy in 2012.
These latest figures show that nationally, outdoor recreation accounts for 3% of America’s workforce, generates $862 billion in economic activity and provides 4.5 million jobs. As a result, the outdoor recreation industry makes a larger contribution to the American economy than agriculture, oil and gas exploration, mining, and utilities.
For the fifth consecutive year, the BEA has published government data on this important industrial sector. The information released shows how the outdoor industry, which has been vital to the local economy and society during the pandemic, has since experienced amazing growth.
Based on this data, the outdoor leisure industry has recovered better than ever from the COVID-19 pandemic. It remains a reliable powerhouse at the national level and a major employer at the local level.