Tucson Job Forecast Looks Bright

The latest economic forecast from the University of Arizona predicts Tucson will continue its recovery from the recession and see an increase in job growth. George Hammond, director of the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, announced his forecast yesterday at a breakfast.

There has been a big acceleration in the region's job numbers, he said. The Tucson area averaged 2.8 percent growth in the first three months of 2016, meaning 10,400 additional jobs over the year. Job growth is expected to finish at about 1.7 percent this year.

Jobs are growing at a significantly higher rate than before, and Hammond predicts the region should be adding jobs at a faster pace than the national economy within the next year or two. A distribution center for HomeGoods and a customer service center for Comcast recently added hundreds of jobs to the Tucson area.

Although the forecast is optimistic, Hammond said there are still a number of risks that could affect the local economy, including low productivity growth, a spike in oil prices, a global downturn and tighter government spending.

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