In case the latest numbers on employment (and/or unemployment) have not been clear — since multiple government agencies, research groups and even media outlets continue to quote and report weekly, monthly and every time there is a spike one way or another in the statistics — this latest report by the Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics gives real hope of growth. But not without its caveats.
Projections for the next two years are better than expected. The EPS, according to its latest two reports (May 4 and June 14, 2012), predicts higher than expected employment growth in all sectors and better than initially reported growth for 2013. This bodes well for this region overall, although still not meeting projections anticipated prior to the economic downturn.
The May and June reports forecast a gain of 102,900 nonfarm jobs, representing a growth rate of 4.3 percent, over the two projected years of 2012 and 2013. An over-the-year gain of 47,100 jobs is projected in 2012 and 55,800 jobs in 2013. The rate of growth projected for nonfarm employment is 2.0 percent in 2012 and 2.3 percent in 2013.
Indicators — including improvement in real Gross Domestic Product, real personal income at the state and national levels, employment, industrial production, and wholesale and retail sales — suggest sustained growth over the next two years. Employment gains in the private sector, increasing private domestic investment, slow rise in total industrial production and rate of capacity utilization, high levels of corporate profit, and a slow resurgence in private residential construction permits also indicate that positive growth is real and outweighs much of the negative factors, including continued high debt; continued weak residential and commercial real estate markets; and reduced wages, benefits and increased employment insecurity brought on by the highest unemployment numbers in decades.
Job gains are projected in all major sectors in Arizona, suggesting a substantive momentum in employment. Educational and health services will see the largest gains, followed closely by leisure and hospitality. Government will see the fewest gains, and natural resources and mining will demonstrate the greatest two-year decline in employment. Construction makes a strong comeback with consistent gains this year and in 2013. Manufacturing will improve by 2013, and professional and business services will also see a rise over this period, according to the EPS.
Arizona Sector Employment
The average over-the-year percentage change for each sector for 2011, 2012 and 2013, with 2011 the base year and 2012 and 2013 as forecast years.
|Average Annual Over‐the‐Year Change
(sorted by highest 2013 gains)
|Leisure & Hospitality||2.0%||3.5%||3.9%|
|Educational & Health Services||2.9%||2.9%||3.1%|
|Professional & Business Services||1.1%||2.0%||2.4%|
|Trade, Transportation & Utilities||1.0%||1.7%||2.1%|
|Natural Resources & Mining||6.4%||1.7%||1.0%|
a) Historical (BLS Current Employment Statistics)
b) Forecast Office of Employment and Population Statistics May 4, 2012, Employment Report