Tales of Two Cities: Arizona’s Largest Metropolitan Areas Diverge
Fourth Quarter 2015 Forecast Update
by George W. Hammond, Ph.D., Director and Research Professor, EBRC
The Arizona economy is expanding at a solid, but unspectacular, pace. However, those gains are very unevenly distributed across the state. The Phoenix metropolitan statistical area (MSA), composed of Maricopa and Pinal counties, accounted for most of the state’s job growth during the past year. In contrast, the Tucson MSA (Pima County) generated no net job gains. The rest of the state posted slow job growth. Overall, Arizona remains stuck in low gear, in large part because fiscal drag and low U.S. residential mobility continue to hinder key sectors. The forecast calls for growth to accelerate as these factors gradually loosen their grip. Read Article...
Arizona grew much faster than the nation during the 30 years before the Great Recession. The latest 30-year outlook suggests that the state will continue to outpace the nation in terms of job, population, and real income growth.
Sluggish gains in Arizona employment, income, and retail sales continued in the fourth quarter of 2014.