PHOENIX – More good news for Arizona’s economic future, as the state expected to regain the jobs that were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bad news, however, is that it is going to take Arizona another year to get there.
Number crunchers at the state came out with the latest jobs report this week, looking at everything from historical data to the more recent vaccine rollout.
The experts say Arizona’s economic recovery seems to be picking up speed.
Double-digit job growth predicted for Arizona
The business of driving people back-and-forth was stopped in its tracks in Spring 2020, when the air was let out of the tires, so to speak, of the entire transportation industry.
“It’s been difficult. Corporate travel is down, leisure travels down, no events are happening, people are tied to their homes,” said Jason Kaplan.
Now, almost a year after the pandemic began, Kaplan is seeing a jumpstart in sales, and officials with the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity predict an 11% jumpstart in job growth, adding 325,000 jobs by spring 2022.
“Growth is there,” said Doug Walls with the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. “What we are projecting is positive. It’s robust, it’s heading in the right direction, it’s definitely what we like to see.”
Job gains predicted in certain sectors
Job gains are projected in 10 of the top 11 so-called supersectors, with travel, tourism, hospitality, and leisure jobs roaring back the fastest. These are the same sectors that were hit hard during the pandemic.
Walls says as a result of the pandemic, many Americans are sitting on money they haven’t been able to spend.
“They have the money to spend, and it’s likely that once those opportunities open up, people will return to it,” said Walls.
That projection is mirroring what Kaplan is seeing and hearing on the streets. After a year-long pandemic pitstop, he’s hoping to climb back into the driver’s seat.
Retail jobs are also expected to rebound, with much of that coming from online orders, meaning more warehouse jobs.
The slowest sector to return to normal is expected to be government jobs.