A new study is quantifying the direct selling industry’s impact on the economy of Utah, a measurement that has never before been documented. In An Economic Analysis of Utah’s Direct Selling Industry, a 24-page white paper authored by Senior Research Economist Levi Pace for the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, Pace details 19 months of data collection and surveys.
The driving force behind the study was a collaboration with the Utah Direct Selling Coalition (UDSC), an entity founded through collaborative support of Cloe Nixon and Troy Keller at Dorsey and Whitney LLP and direct selling companies 4Life, ASEA, doTERRA, LifeVantage, Nature’s Sunshine, NewAge, Nu Skin, Modere, USANA Health Sciences, Younique, Young Living and Zyia Active. The resulting third-party analysis of the channel’s economic impact on local economies is expected to become a model for other states densely populated by direct selling companies.
“I speak for all Utah Direct Selling Coalition members by saying that we’ve always known our channel contributes meaningfully to Utah’s economy—but none of us anticipated the depth and breadth of our impact on the state,” said Calvin Jolley, 4Life Vice President of Corporate Communications. “Among more than 150 combined direct sellers and ecosystem service suppliers, we account for more than one-third of Utah’s total international exports, and more than 70% of Utah’s non-gold exports. Our businesses provide more than 38,000 jobs. We employ a more diverse workforce than other industries and bring people in from around the country and world. All this says nothing about our entrepreneurial opportunities or philanthropic commitments. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Economic Analysis provides us with an indispensable tool to engage and educate policymakers. And as a collective? The UDSC framework is a model that every state with more than one direct selling company should adopt.”
Key findings in the paper indicate just how vast Utah’s direct selling footprint is, hosting 157 companies who are responsible for 38,238 jobs, or 1.8% of the state’s employment. Direct selling jobs were also found to pay higher than average wages, ranking 18.4% higher than other industries within the state.
The ten direct selling companies surveyed by Pace’s team reported $10.3 billion in sales in 2020 and were responsible for $6.3 billion in international exports in 2020, or 35.6% of Utah’s total international exports and 71.7% of Utah’s non-gold commodity exports.
Direct selling’s presence in Utah also catalyzes tourism. From 2015 to 2019, it is estimated that out-of-state visitors attending direct selling conventions spent $41.6 million annually.