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Arizona income growth led nation in 2020 despite pandemic, report finds

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PHOENIX — Arizona had the highest jump in personal income in the nation last year despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The report found Arizona had an 8.4% personal income change from 2019 to 2020, to an average of nearly $49,000 a year.

Eric Jay Toll, communications manager with Phoenix Community and Economic Development, credits the personal income jump to manufacturing, bioscience healthcare and business-finance firms coming to the Valley and diversifying the economy.

“Every time one of these new companies comes in, or one of our local companies expands, that increases the amount of wealth that’s available in the economy,” Toll told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“Kroger announced their new high technology warehouse for delivery shoppers. That’s 700 jobs there,” Toll said. “Thrift Book is another 300 jobs.”

Intel also recently announced an expansion of the Chandler facility, resulting in the addition of 15,000 long-term jobs in the area, while a Canadian company plans to build its tiny three-wheeled electric vehicles in Mesa and bring 500 jobs to the city.

“Our phones are busy on a daily basis in the Business and Workforce Development Center with companies calling and saying they’re ready to hire,” Toll said.

Metro Phoenix in February added 13,400 jobs over the previous month, putting the workforce within 3.6% of February 2020’s employment totals before the pandemic halted the economy a month later.

The highest personal income changes last year occurred on the west coast, according to the report, with Montana (8.4%) and neighboring Utah (8.2%) placing second and third, respectively.

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