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Arizona to add jobs 5 times more than rest of the country in next 10 years

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Arizona is expected to add jobs over the next decade at nearly five times the rate of the rest of the nation -- much of that to help care for the state's growing population of seniors.
And Maricopa County is projected by the state Office of Economic Opportunity to get more than what might be considered its fair share.
New figures Thursday show the state will add 477,968 jobs by 2032. That's an annualized rate of 1.4%.
By contrast, the national figure for that period is just 0.3%.
What will be driving a lot of that is the need for more workers in health care.
"Health care and social assistance has been one of the strongest, most consistent industries in terms of employment growth over the last several decades,'' said Doug Walls, the agency's labor market information director. "And that's only likely to continue.''
It comes down, he said, to demographics
Consider, he said, that this year alone nearly 350,000 people nationally are expected to turn 65 each month.
"We're seeing an aging population,'' Walls said. "And with an aging population does tend to come more spending on health care.''
Add to that, he said, is research which shows that nearly half of what people spend in their lifetime on medical expenditures occurs at 65 and older.
What that means in Arizona, Walls said, is an additional 64,470 new jobs by 2032 in medical offices and clinics, out-patient surgery centers, hospital outpatient departments and dialysis centers. That translates out to an annualized growth of 2.9%, more than double the state's overall projected job growth.
And what will grow even faster, according to the new report, is the number of people working in nursing homes and residential care facilities.
That sector grew by about 1.7% a year in the past decade. The projections call for a 3.2% annual increase through 2032.
Hospital employment also is expected to accelerate, to a rate of 1.9% a year.
What makes those changes even more remarkable is that the state's annual population growth, now at 1.7% a year, is expected to decline to just 1.1% annually by 2032.
One sector expected to lag the statewide average job gains is growth in construction employment. Walls said it is expected to grow just 1.2% annually as compared with 5.3% in the prior decade.
He pointed out, however, that rapid growth in the last 10 years has to be considered in the context of what came before when the industry went into sharp decline when the prior housing boom went bust in the recession in 2008 and 2009.
That cut construction employment in half. What has occurred since then has been getting back to where the state was before.
But then there's what's happening now. And a lot of that, Walls said, is tied to inflation and the cost of borrowing.
He said the average interest for a fixed 30-year mortgage is now 7.79%, a figure that hasn't been seen since the beginning of the century.
That, in turn, is linked to what has been a decline in residential home sales in the Phoenix metro area -- Maricopa and Pinal counties -- dropping nearly 33% in a year.
All that gets back to where all those new jobs will be popping up in the next decade.
The new report shows the number of jobs created in the state's largest county by 2032 will be 394,411. That is 83% of all the jobs the state will gain.
Yet Maricopa County currently has only about 62% of the state population.
By contrast, Pima County, which includes 14.5% of all Arizonans, is expected to add just 32,166 jobs, or an average of about 6.7% a year.
The county with the third largest absolute number of new jobs is predicted to be Yavapai. Walls figures it will pick up 10,589 new jobs by 2032.
But that's still only 2.2% of all the new jobs created for a county that has 3.3% of the population.
And Apache County is anticipated to actually lose employment by 2032, albeit only slightly.
On X and Threads: @azcapmedia

Projected employment change by county by 2032:

County / Actual jobs / Annualized percentage change

Apache / (-41) / 0.0%
Cochise / 1,761 / 0.5%
Coconino / 6,452 / 0.9%
Gila / 1,109 / 0.7%
Graham / 1,633 / 1.4%
Greenlee / 470 / 0.7%
La Paz / 923 / 1.3%
Maricopa / 394,411 / 1.5%
Mohave / 7,284 / 1.1%
Navajo / 2,816 / 0.9%
Pima / 32,166 / 0.7%
Pinal / 10,091 / 1.2%
Santa Cruz / 601 / 0.4%
Yavapai / 10,589 / 1.3%
Yuma / 7,812 / 0.9%

Statewide / 477,968 / 1.4%

-- Source: Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity

Projected job growth by industry by 2032

Industry / Annual change

Health care and social assistance / 2.7%
Transportation and warehousing / 2.6%
Professional, scientific, technical / 1.8%
Manufacturing / 1.6%
Information / 1.5%
Management of companies / 1.5%
Administrative support & waste management / 1.5%
Hotels, bars and restaurants / 1.3%
Arts, entertainment, recreation / 1.3%
Finance and insurance / 1.2%
Retail trade / 1.2%
Construction / 1.2%
Wholesale trade / 1.0%
Other services (except government) / 0.7%
Self employed and unpaid family / 0.7%
Private educational services / 0.3%
Real estate rental and leasing / 0.3%
Mining / 0.2%
Government / 0.1%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting / (-0.1%)
Utilities / (-0.2%)

-- Source: Office of Economic Opportunity