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

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

MCSO’s Penzone expects scanner program at jails to be implemented within weeks

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said a scanner program that will detect for drugs and other contraband going in and out of jails will be up and running within weeks.

12 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Axis for Autism)...

SuElen Rivera

Autism evaluation, therapy clinic opens first East Valley location

A clinic offering autism diagnostic services and ABA therapy is expanding its presence in the Valley with the opening of a new clinic in Gilbert.

12 hours ago

Wreckage after BNSF freight train carrying new vehicles derailed overnight in Coconino County, Ariz...

Freight train carrying new vehicles derails in northern Arizona

Nobody was injured when a freight train carrying new vehicles derailed in northern Arizona overnight, officials said Thursday.

12 hours ago

Photos of a stolen husky puppy and suspects Logan Niemann and Taylor Sines. The Glendale, Arizona, ...

Kevin Stone

Glendale couple arrested for allegedly stealing husky puppy last month

A Glendale couple was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing a husky puppy from a breeder last month, authorities said.

12 hours ago

(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...

Arizona Humane Society waiving adoption fees for pets 1 year and older starting Thursday

The Arizona Humane Society is hosting an adoption event that will run Thursday-Sunday, waiving fees for all pets one year old and older.

12 hours ago

(Flickr Photo/ADOT)...

ADOT begins first of 23 pavement repair projects set for this summer

The Arizona Department of Transportation has started the first of 23 projects to repair damaged pavement across the state.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.

Arizona economic expert wants state to keep attracting newcomers