Tucson should recover lost jobs by 2015, UA economist forecasts

December 9, 2011

Tucson’s economic recovery is happening – slowly and not assuredly –  and if his projection holds true, economist Marshall J. Vest says Tucson should recover all of the jobs lost during the economic recession by 2015.

There are still headwinds but the director of the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management told more 600 people attending his 31st annual Economic Forecast luncheon that after several years of gloomy reports this one was positive.

The luncheon, which was sponsored by JP Morgan Chase, was held Friday (Dec. 9) at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa.

“Personal income, wages, and employment are growing at increasingly faster rates. Measures of spending are surprisingly robust. Unemployment is declining as are bankruptcies and residential foreclosures. The economy is no longer bouncing along the bottom . Recovery is now underway,” Vest said.

The Tucson region was hit harder than most by the economic recession that started in 2008 and three factors are creating the major “headwinds” slowing the recovery here:

  • The distressed housing market.
  • The lack of mobility, which this year was at 11.6 percent, the lowest it has been since the government tracking it in 1948, is preventing people from moving to Southern Arizona.
  • The public sector will take at least two years to recover.

Despite the negatives, consumer spending is up 9.1 percent this year, which Vest attributed to pent-up demand. He anticipates that spending will continue to rise next year but at a slower pace.

But he said the pace of the economic recovery will start to accelerate next year and “by 2015 damage from the recession will be repaired.”

Read more about the Economic Forecast in the Dec. 16 issue of Inside Tucson Business


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