2017 Promises To Be A Good Year
The Tucson metro economic outlook is good for 2017! Area job growth is expected to be in the 2% range. The Tucson metro area posted a 1.4% increase in 2016. According to George Hammond, Director of the UA Economic and Business Research Center, ”I think we are going to see Tucson’s economy pick up steam in 2017”.
Manufacturing jobs are expected to increase with the announcement of 2000 new jobs coming to Raytheon Missile Systems Group over the next five years. There will be more jobs from companies associated with the start up of Vector Space Systems.
More jobs will come from the health services, leisure, hospitality, and business services (call centers).
The University of Arizona forecast expects modest job losses in natural resources and mining. The projected growth rate translates into 7100 new jobs in 2017 and 7600 in 2018.
A major concern both nationally and locally is slow income growth. According to Hammond the successful minimum wage ballot will have on hiring or wages remains unclear. The initiative will raise the minimum wage from $8.05/hour to $10.00/hour in 2017 and gradually increase to $12.00/hour by 2020.
Tucson suffered greatly from the federal budget cutting after the recession because of the heavy concentration of government jobs but that should change with promised new government spending. One area of great concern with the recent Presidential election is the pending economic policies towards Mexico. The Mexican peso’s value against the dollar has shrunk by 45% since the election. Mexico is Arizona’s biggest international trade partner. According to Hammond there will be a downward trend towards our merchandise exports in 2017. The negative impact of the recent US election in regards to Mexico has all ready made a substantial impact in Arizona’s border cities.