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Az expected to add 153k jobs by 2019, with 80% in Maricopa County

Arizona is expected to gain almost 153,000 jobs between late 2017 and early 2019, with Maricopa County getting about 80 percent. Pima County will end up with 13,355 more jobs, or just under 9 percent of the state’s total.

But the fastest growth in the state – 4.4 percent – is expected to be in suburban Maricopa County, outside of Phoenix. The state’s capital city is projected to add just 23,048 jobs.

In making these projections, the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity assumes there will be no serious economic disruptions such as trade disputes or wars, and continued consumer confidence, restrained government budgets, increases in medical costs and needs, and online shopping.

Doug Walls, research administrator for the state agency, also predicted a tighter labor market and more people chasing fewer jobs because Arizona’s unemployment rate is under five percent. That should help drive up wages.

Construction is expected to see the fastest percentage growth in Maricopa County (5.8 percent annualized) and Pima County (3.7 percent), particularly as housing permits increase.

But the second fastest growing industries are expected to be education and health services in Maricopa County (4.2 percent) and manufacturing in Pima County (3 percent).

The projections are for the third quarter of 2017 through the first quarter of 2019.

Educational requirements for jobs

It appears from the projections that four-year college degrees are not necessarily the fastest ticket to a job. The fastest growth – 6.4 percent—is expected to be in jobs that require at least a two-year-associates degree or a post-secondary,  non-degree award such as a trade-school certificate.

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The breakdown:

  • No formal education, 4.7%
  • High school diploma or equivalent, 5%
  • Some college, no degree, 3%
  • Postsecondary, non-degree, 6.4%
  • Associate’s degree, 6.4%
  • Bachelor’s degree, 5.6%
  • Master’s degree, 5.9%
  • Doctoral or professional degree, 6%  

Fastest growing industries

Three industries are expected to hire at a faster pace in the 2017-2019 period in Arizona than they did in the previous two-year period: health care, manufacturing and mining.

The health care and social assistance sector is at the top. Walls said that is because Arizona is among the top 10 states for having the most people 55 and older and has a lot of older seasonal residents. Also, medical costs are rising nationwide. That industry will probably need about 35,500 more workers for the two years, for an annualized  4.6 percentage growth.

While manufacturing is expected to do better in Arizona, Walls declined to attribute that to specific federal budgets or increases in federal spending. Raytheon in November 2016 announced plans to add 2,000 jobs to its Tucson missile plant over the next five years. The plant then had more than 10,000 employees.

Manufacturers are expected to add almost 7,900 workers statewide over the two years, compared to about 4,100 added in previous two years 

And thanks to rising copper prices, mining companies are expected to grow a bit — just 336 workers over that 2017-2019 period. But that is better than the four-percent loss of about 1,000 workers in the previous two years.

One major industry that won’t add employees as fast — only about one percent a year — is retail. Online purchases as a share of all retail purchases has steadily grown over the decade and now accounts for about nine percent. One major exception is home improvement and garden supply stores, where customers still prefer to go to brick-and-mortar stores.

The office and administrative support occupation, a broad sector that includes clerks to office managers, will need the largest number of employees, 20,298 over the two-year period. Because of high turnover, it is also expected to offer the largest number of job openings, about 134,000.

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