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Valley economists expect Arizona to aggressively rebound in 2022-23

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – It has been almost one year since coronavirus sent Arizona’s economy, one of the nation’s hottest at the time, into recession. While two Valley economists differ on how close the state is to the finish line, they both agree the return will be big.

The state lost more than 300,000 jobs and an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 jobs remain unrecovered, but Phoenix economic consultant Jim Rounds believes the recession in Arizona is finished.

“It will probably take until the end of the year to see full job recovery. That’s more optimistic than projections were not that long ago and the state of Arizona is going to do quite well,” Rounds said Friday.

Valley economist Elliott Pollack isn’t ready to declare the recession finished, instead saying it is in the final stages of being wrapped up.

“Virtually everything suggests the economy is going to do extremely well,” Scottsdale-based Pollack said Friday. “Our economy is going to be explosive when it starts which should be very shortly and last through 2022 and maybe 2023. We’re in for quite a run.”

Arizona finished 2020 ranked third in job growth year over year even though it was minus 2.3%.

“We didn’t grow the job base but we maintained the vast majority of jobs,” Rounds said.

“Arizona is outperforming the nation but we got hit hard. We can now be very optimistic as a state but we have to continue with the vaccine programs. There’s going to be a lot of opportunities for Arizonans and for the people looking to move to the state.”

Pollack predicts, “Jobs will be easier to come by. The service industry will be the major beneficiary, retail sales are going to be strong and housing and manufacturing will be strong.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.

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