Although cities and suburbs now cover much of the land, the county retains traces of its agricultural beginning as a producer of eggs, hogs, wheat, and garden vegetables. Mines in Alta and Bingham, smelters in Garfield and Murray, and the Salt Lake Mining and Stock Exchange made the county a regional mining hub. Printing and publishing, which began in 1850, continue as major industries. Other important manufactured goods include pharmaceuticals, candy and other food products, computers, military guidance systems, and artificial organs. The county also remains the state's leader in trade, services, transportation, communications, finance, insurance, and construction. Salt Lake International Airport, major medical facilities, and television broadcasting, for example, serve the state as a whole as well as parts of the Intermountain region.
Government, including public education, is the leading employer in the county. The founding of the University of Desert (Utah) in 1850 and the dedication of the Salt Lake Theatre in 1862 provide two examples of the early commitment of residents to education and culture. The county is home to several public and private colleges and dozens of theatrical, musical, and dance organizations, as well as major professional sports clubs.
Miriam B. Murphy