Arizona economic expert wants state to keep attracting newcomers

Jan 19, 2022, 9:49 AM | Updated: 11:04 am

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)...

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)

PHOENIX – Arizona should keep making available the kinds of career opportunities that are already drawing a workforce from around the country and fueling the state’s growth, according to a Valley economist.

“If we don’t maintain a competitive economic development profile, then these people from California will end up in Texas or to our north in Utah. We need to take advantage of our opportunities,” Jim Rounds of Tempe-based Rounds Consulting Group told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

The population percentage growth in Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Texas – despite the COVID-19 pandemic – is directly tied to opportunity, he said.

Arizona, Idaho and Utah have fully recovered the jobs that were lost during the initial phase of the pandemic. For Arizona that was about 320,000 jobs.

“It’s a combination of people wanting to go where they would like to live, but even more importantly, wanting to go where they have opportunity to be successful – find jobs, raise a family – Arizona is one of the top [places] across the country,” Rounds said.

Arizona, Texas and Utah are big enough states where tax rates and public policy-related development matters more than in a smaller state, he said.

“One of the reasons that Austin [Texas], has been such a leader in terms of high-wage growth is because about 10-15 years ago they started really investing in a lot of the higher education issues that would help help advance the economy,” Rounds said.

He added the Grand Canyon State is doing much the same with the Arizona Board of Regents’ economy initiative. That budget item for Fiscal Year 2023 includes $75 million toward neuroscience education at the state’s public four-year schools – Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

22 minutes ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

2 hours ago

State's new budget a sore spot for attorney general - Here's why...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona AG ‘extremely disappointed’ with state budget cuts to opioid settlement funds

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes released a statement saying she is "extremely disappointed" with the state's new budget on Saturday.

3 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

Associated Press

Arizona lawmakers pass bipartisan $16.1 billion budget, fix $1.4 billion deficit

Arizona lawmakers passed a $16.1 billion bipartisan state budget, which Gov. Hobbs negotiated with GOP leaders, on Saturday evening.

6 hours ago

Southbound Loop 101 on-ramp in Scottsdale to close (ADOT Photo)...

Bailey Leasure

Southbound Loop 101 on-ramp in Scottsdale to close for 2 months

 The southbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Princess Drive and Pima Road in Scottsdale is scheduled to be closed for two months

8 hours ago

Improvements coming to Brooks Crossing Park (City of Chandler Photo)....

Bailey Leasure

New improvements coming to Chandler’s Brooks Crossing Park

Chandler City Council approves a construction agreement that will allow for improvements to Brooks Crossing Park.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona economic expert wants state to keep attracting newcomers