I was surprised to see this report in the Arizona Republic(an), the mouthpiece of the GOP establishment in Arizona. This report is a damning indictment of the legacy of Governor Jan Brewer and the Tea-Publican dominated Arizona Legislature, and its faith based supply-side “trickle down” GOP economics.
Arizona, like the state of Kansas, has been the meth lab of democracy for a far-right conservative agenda. The economies of our states are now circling the drain. If Arizonans want a better future, you must end this reign of error — throw out the Tea-Publicans. 5 measures of Arizona’s economy as fall season arrives:
Here are five measures of the state’s economy heading into the fall:
1. Jobs remain scarce
Before the Great Recession, Arizona’s unemployment rate stood at 4 percent and the state was awash in growth. Five years after the downturn technically ended, Arizona has restored less than 60 percent of its recession job losses. The state has a 7 percent unemployment rate. Both of which are well behind the national average.
2. Wages are flat
For those who have work, wages in Arizona have scarcely moved in recent years after adjusting for inflation. While employers have groused that skilled construction workers, for example, are hard to find, the expected wage inflation in those fields hasn’t materialized, said Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Instead, the state typically sees about 2 percent annualized wage inflation, he said.
Arizona isn’t unique in having relatively flat wages. It has been happening nationally for years.
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3. Construction hasn’t recovered
No industry personifies Arizona’s boom-to-bust character better than construction. The field peaked at 244,000 workers in mid-2006 and today employs 118,000. The loss of its relatively good wages also has rippled through the wider economy. “The big surprise has been that construction is dead in the water, and that’s been one of our drivers,” McPheters said.
Murthy said hopeful near-term signs in construction are still hard to find. Permits for residential construction have picked up recently, suggesting more work may come in the months ahead, she said. But construction of non-residential buildings in particular has fallen off.
4. Spending is low
Not surprisingly, a weak job market and relatively flat wages have hurt Arizonans’ buying power. Per capita spending remained lower in Arizona in 2012 than it was in 2007, even after adjusting for inflation. Only Nevada fared worse. It takes money to spend; too many Arizonans have too little of it.
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5. Education still matters
Arizona ranks 29th in the nation in the percentage of adults with four-year college degrees or more and eighth in the U.S. for the percentage of adults with less than a ninth-grade education. Add to the data a troubling reputation as a state that spends relatively little on primary education. States that tend to have greater shares of college-educated workers tend to have higher incomes.
And when considering whether to relocate to a new state for work, executives and other college-educated parents also consider education quality.
Stop this insanity! Vote for the #DemDreamTeam!