GOP Economics is why they don’t support higher education


Arizona lead the nation in both cuts to higher-education funding and increases in tuition costs since 2008, according to this analysis from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (from last year). The budget enacted last week makes an additional $99 million in cuts to higher education. Arizona is winning the race to the bottom. Aren’t you proud?

No worries! You’re not going to need a college education for the kind of jobs that GOP economics is creating in Arizona. Maybe this is the reason why Tea-Publicans do not support higher education in Arizona. 2.2% job growth predicted in Arizona for 2015:

Screenshot from 2015-03-11 15:40:53Nearly three out of every four jobs expected to be created in Arizona this year and next will require a high school diploma.

Or less.

The forecast comes as the Arizona Department of Administration predicts a 2.2 percent job growth this year. That’s slightly better than the 2.1 percent figure Arizona has posted for the past three years.

And in 2016, economist Aruna Murthy predicts a 2.4 percent job growth statewide.

In both years, the Phoenix metro area, which includes Maricopa and Pinal counties, will get more than its share, adding 95,400 over the two year period. By contrast, Pima County will have just 12,300 new jobs over the same period, with the other 12,000 jobs spread around the 12 remaining counties.

But the real telling numbers come in looking at where those jobs will be. And a lot of them will involve jobs where a qualification will be the ability to ask, “Do you want fries with that?’

[T]he bottom line is that it’s those jobs near the bottom of the pay scale that are growing the fastest.

Murthy puts food preparation and service at the top of job growth from 2013 through 2016, adding 7,232 new jobs. That’s followed by customer service representatives, at 6,977. Below them are retail jobs and waiters, with the higher paying category of registered nurses in fifth place.

Looking at it from another perspective, Murthy figure that close to 125,000 of the jobs to be created this year and next will require nothing more than a high school diploma, with almost 59,000 of those not even requiring that.

Overall, she figures that comes out to 71.8 percent of new jobs.

So why go to college?

“People study to make a difference in their life and to get a job which pays more,’ Murthy said.

But not necessarily here.

Leaving Arizona“If those type of jobs are not being created in Arizona, studying will at least allow them to be mobile and get a job elsewhere where previously they could have found a job locally,’ she said.

* * *

“There are a lot of entry level positions,’ she said.

“So Arizona may be a good market to find entry level positions,’ Murthy continued. “But once you reach mid-career, there may be limited options.’

And the trend lines are not good.

Consider: The leisure and hospitality industry made up just 10.2 of all jobs in 2000.

That figure grew to 10.6 percent of total Arizona employment by 2010 and 11.1 percent this past year. And by 2016, 11.4 percent of all jobs in the state will be in that sector.

By contrast, manufacturing, with its higher-paying jobs, was 9.4 percent of the economy in 2000, it now is just 6 percent.

And those trends are reflected in the fact that wages in Arizona are not keeping pace.

Murthy said per capita income in Arizona was $36,850 in 2007. Now, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the figure is just $34,648.

* * *

[T]he high percentage of lower-paying jobs does make a difference.

“There’s a higher share of those jobs in the state of Arizona,’ Murthy said. “That’s the reality, unfortunately.’

And Murthy said until Arizona attracts large new employers with high paying jobs, the earnings figures are not going to go up.

You are all totally depressed by this bleak economic outlook for Arizona under GOP rule. But you know who is not?

Daniel Scarpinato, press aide to Gov. Doug Ducey, called Thursday’s report good news.

See the problem? Arizona’s crappy economy under GOP rule is not a bug but a feature. A lackluster economy is “good news.” It is exactly the way they want it.

So why do you keep electing these fools?


  1. We need your support! has organized a “March for Education” this coming Saturday, March 14, 2015. Meet at Tucson High at 9:30 am (Park in Tucson High parking lot). We will march from Tucon High to the University of Arizona’s Fesival of Books. We will hold a rally on the East side of Old Main around 10:30am, then break out into small groups of 5 to continue through the rest of campus with signs. We have cleared all with UA and Festival Organizers. We do not want to disrupt the Festival. It will be a peaceful but POWERFIL demonstration. Go to our Facebook page: Arizona Stands Up to rsvp or to our website: for more information. Stand up for Arizona Education.

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