Employment Totals Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels, Unemployment Rate Dips

Published by The Bee News

December 21, 2021

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Governor Doug Ducey highlighted Arizona’s latest economic numbers – a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.7 percent – as an example of the successes the state has had in streamlining taxes and creating a pro-business environment.

Speaking at an event with the Coalition to Protect American Workers, the Governor highlighted the pro-business policies Arizona has adopted. Governor Ducey identified Arizona’s blueprint for aiding economic growth: reduce regulations, reform taxes and make targeted investments to improve infrastructure.

“Arizonans are resilient, and we’ve worked hard to create an environment that promotes business growth and opportunities throughout the state,” said Governor Ducey. “With our balanced approach, hard hit industries are reviving and our job recovery is leading the nation. We’ve not only recovered jobs lost since February 2020, but we’ve caught up to lows recorded before the height of the Great Recession. To find a lower unemployment rate, you’d have to go back 13 years to 2008.”

According to a new report from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which studies the state’s economy and labor market trends, Arizona has recovered 101 percent of jobs lost during the initial months of the pandemic. U.S. nonfarm employment has only recovered 83 percent of pandemic job losses. In addition, Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is now 4.7 percent, matching the pre-pandemic low recorded in December 2019.

During the discussion, Governor Ducey was joined by Steve Snyder, CEO of 21st Century Healthcare and Chris Baker, president of Creative Printing & Packaging. Marc Short, founder of the Coalition, moderated the discussion held at 21st Century Healthcare in Tempe. The Governor spotlighted Arizona’s streamlined tax system and specifically the historic tax reform passed this year, which made Arizona the state with the lowest flat tax in the nation.

Arizona is among the first states in the nation that have reached pre-pandemic employment levels. With a gain of 27,300 jobs in November, Arizona’s total number of nonfarm jobs is 2,998,000 surpassing 2,993,100 jobs in February 2020.

“Today’s milestone represents a significant turning point in our recovery as we now have more jobs in Arizona than ever before,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona’s accelerated recovery has been fueled by the strength and resiliency of our incredible business community. In Arizona, we can also point to sound policy decisions from leaders like Governor Ducey that kept our economy open while providing support to families and industries hit the hardest.”

The tax approach in Arizona, combined with a responsible, hands-off approach to government has spurred unparalleled economic growth. Industry leaders TSMCIntelKORE PowerElectraMeccanica and Lucid Motors have all recently expanded operations in Arizona.

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