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Economists: Arizona will add 61,000 jobs in 2013

PHOENIX — Arizona economists are estimating the state will add about 61,000 jobs in 2013.

“It’s a slow sluggish way to get back to normal but we’ll take it after losing 300,000 jobs since 2007,” said economist Rick Merritt with Elliott D. Pollack and Company.

The forecast said Arizona can expect strong growth in health care because of the aging baby boomer population.

The improving economy nationwide will lead to more tourism here with more hiring in bars, restaurants and hotels to follow.

There is even positive news on the construction front. The state expects a six percent boost in jobs in the construction industry.

“The homebuilding industry is starting to gain some momentum,” said Merritt. “We should see more home construction and maybe more commercial construction next year.”

Arizona Construction Association said the state lost 210,000 construction jobs to the recession and about 115,000 people are working in that field now.

Merritt expects the state’s economy to reach full recovery in 2015 and get back to job levels that peaked in 2006-07.

Merritt said Arizona is sixth in job creation.