March 4, 2022
Workforce Could be Arizona’s ‘Biggest Opportunity and Biggest Risk’
In This News Story: Jim Rounds

ABC 15 – Workforce Could be Arizona’s ‘Biggest Opportunity and Biggest Risk’

Arizona’s labor force could be “the biggest opportunity and the biggest risk as far as our economy growing,” economist Jim Rounds said of the tight labor market in the state and around the country.

“We are adding a lot of jobs, but starting to get tapped out as far as workforce supply,” Rounds said.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Foundation released a report about the labor market in the Valley, which analyzed data over economic growth, unemployment, wages and labor participation. Arizona has recovered all jobs lost during the pandemic, and Maricopa County is experiencing unprecedented unemployment, at about 2.4%, said Jennifer Mellor, chief innovation officer at the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation.

“Spoiler alert — we are experiencing a contraction in the labor market, as is the entire country,” Mellor said.

There are more people in the labor force than ever before in Arizona, and the state added 440,000 jobs in the last decade. But, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the participation rate dropped dramatically.


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