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Economic consultant doesn’t think Ducey’s Nike deal will cause damage

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey talks to reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House April 03, 2019 (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Labor Department released its jobs report for June which proved to be far better than expected. Approximately 224,000 jobs were added, only 165,000 were projected.

Jim Rounds, a local economic consultant, told Arizona Morning News on KTAR News 92.3 FM Friday the number of jobs added to the national workforce is right on the sweet spot.

“You’re still going to see the economy eventually slow but unfortunately a lot of people react to one month worth of data,” he said. “We had a weak month last time around, now we’ve created between 200,000 and 300,000 jobs which is the target range I’m looking for right now in the business cycle.”

Rounds said economics in Arizona are doing just as well and may continue to thrive with some minor adjustments.

“All the fundamentals are in place for beating the rest of the country over the entire 2020s as well,” he said. “We’re already top five in most economic categories. Where we need to improve a little bit is instead of volume of jobs, we need to continue to shift into the higher wage jobs, which we started, but we’re only on the front end.

“I’m more bullish than I ever have been.”

His projections for the future of Arizona’s economy and job market play a big part in why he’s neutral on Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to pull $1 million in incentives away from Nike’s plans in Goodyear.

The decision came after the company decided to not release a patriotic shoe after backlash from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Rounds believes the decision should have been based solely on the economics but doesn’t think the move will cause harm to the states economy.

“I’m torn,” he said. “On the one hand you want to make these decisions purely on some of the math. What kind of jobs are coming in and are they high-wage jobs? On the other hand we want to be very careful with handing out incentives and maybe with this particular deal even though it was very politically oriented rather than just pure economic.

“It might make people take a look at some of the economic development deals. We can still be proactive in attracting business but we can also be careful. So in the end it may end up being a good thing but for the economy I’d say it was neutral.”

Rounds believes the picture for Arizona and Greater Phoenix is a shift to being a top-tier economic community over the next decade.

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