ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona economy reaches 95% recovery of pandemic-lost jobs

Sep 3, 2021, 7:21 AM

(AP File Photo)...

(AP File Photo)

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – What a difference a year has made to Arizona’s economy.

As the Labor Day weekend weekend approaches, the state has recovered about 95% of the estimated 320,000 jobs lost last year during the pandemic, according to Valley economist Jim Rounds.

At this point in 2020, the number was 44%.

“Arizona has made a lot of progress when it comes to economic growth over the past year,” Rounds told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“There’s reason to be optimistic. We’re one of the top states for recovering lost jobs from the pandemic. Labor Day 2020 we had about 200,000 Arizonans who were collecting unemployment benefits – last week we were at just about 30,000.”

But not every area has recovered the same. Still, there’s some good news for the leisure and hospitality industry, which was decimated during the pandemic.

“Leisure and hospitality was down at one point by approximately 150,000 jobs but it’s recovered about 81% of those jobs,” Rounds said.

“So even the industries that got hit the most have at least some recovery. The best economic development package the nation could have offered was widespread access to COVID vaccines.”

The economic outlook is very positive, Rounds said, adding he doesn’t see a recession ahead in the short term.

The national job report released Friday showed employers added just 235,000 jobs in August, a surprisingly weak gain after two months of robust hiring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona economy reaches 95% recovery of pandemic-lost jobs