New Report on the Workforce Retention of Utah's Postsecondary Graduates

Britnee Johnston, UX Researcher
February 4, 2020


The Utah Data Research Center (UDRC) today published a new report and data narrative on the In-State Workforce Retention of Utah’s Postsecondary Graduates. 

With the goal of increasing workforce retention of graduates, several states have offered tuition assistance or loan repayment incentives to help expand and develop a well-educated workforce. Past studies have shown a positive relationship between state incentives and workforce retention, but few have looked at other factors that influence a graduate’s decision to stay and work in the state. 

This new study aims to fill that gap in the literature. The UDRC conducted a historical analysis of the 2013 graduation cohort from the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and the Utah System of Technical Colleges (UTech) to analyze individual characteristics of graduates who joined Utah’s workforce. The second part of the study uses individual characteristics to make predictions on the workforce retention rate for 2021.

For USHE and UTech graduates, the study found that in-state students were more likely than out-of-state students to remain in the state's workforce. In addition, graduates who were already working one year prior to graduation had higher retention rates than those who did not work.

To learn more, read the report now available online and explore the data in the new data narrative. A recorded presentation from the report authors about the research is also available from UDRC’s last Bagels & Research meetup event.