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Arizona could add almost 166,000 jobs by mid-2020

Arizona is expected to add 165,691 jobs between the last quarter of 2018 and mid 2020, with construction and manufacturing leading the way.

And Pima County is expected to add 11,905 positions, the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity reported Thursday in its annual short-term projections report.

Construction alone is expected to grow by 18,888 positions in Arizona over the seven quarters, and people have begun to wonder how long that can go on, said Doug Walls, research administrator.

There is no end in sight yet, he said, because so many people are moving to Arizona, making it the fourth fastest-growing state, and there is a still demand for homes from the recession that ended almost a decade ago.

"What we're seeing is construction will be able to maintain this. There is a significant pent-up demand as a carry over from the recession from individuals who were looking to buy (a home) but either couldn't afford it or didn't have a job to pay for it or were uncertain about the future prospects," he said.

And people in other states are able to sell their homes easier now than during and after the recession and move to other states, including Arizona.

Arizona had the nation's 14th highest population last year but was the fourth fastest-growing, numerically and percentagewise, from 2017 to 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The state added 122,770 residents to reach about 7.2 million last year. Texas, Florida and California added more residents.

Nevertheless, construction jobs are expected to grow slower than in the previous two years, by 18,888 positions versus 22,370.

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The Arizona office estimates a growth of 12,484 manufacturing jobs largely because federal spending has boosted jobs in aerospace and electrical component manufacturing.

Other manufacturing sectors expected to grow by at least five percent are makers of food, beverage, tobacco, chemical, plastic, rubber, electrical and machinery products.

Not surprisngly, health care will continue strong. It was the only industry that grew during the recession, Walls said. It continues to increase because of population growth, more older residents and also winter visitors and tourists who need medical attention.

"These are going to be in-demand jobs and not just in the larger metropolitan areas but throughout Arizona," Walls said.

Arizona is expected to gain 31,488 (3.9 percent) and Pima County, 1,671 (3.6 percent) health care and social assistance jobs.

Retail jobs are expected to barely increase, by about one percent. As a rule, any one selling a product that can't be delivered in a package that can be ordered online will be more likely to hire, the state numbers indicate. That motor vehicle and parts dealers and building material and garden stores.

Jobs are expected to decline at stores selling clothing, sporting goods, hobby supplies, books, music, electronics and appliances.

Pima County winners and losers

In Pima County, several industries are expected to add more jobs in the 2018-2020 period than they added in the 2016-2018 period and others can expect less.

Manufacturing should grow faster, from 1,950 jobs to 2,849. Other industries expected to do better are professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and health care and social assistance.

Construction hiring is expected to slow, from adding 1,773 jobs in the 2016-2018 period to 1,348 in the 2018-2020 period.

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Retail jobs will plummet from a loss of 234 to a loss of 766. Mining,

transportation and warehousing, educational services, information and financial services are also expected to continue to hire but at a slower rate.

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Arizona overview

Statewide, these are the industries expected to grow the fastest from late 2018 through mid-2020, with annualized percentage growth and expected number of new jobs.

Industry % increase Number of new jobs
Construction 5.8 18,888
Manufacturing 3.6 12,484
Business and professional services 3 26,177
Education and health services 3 37,126
Leisure and hospitality 2.7 19,255
Financial activities 2.6 11,414
Other services 2.1 4,309
Trade, transportation and utilities 2 21,741
Information 1.4 1,372
Natural resources and mining 1.2 1,305
Government 0.6 2,056