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21st June
written by Arizona Kid

Phoenix employment won’t recover until 2016

Phoenix Business Journal – by Adam Kress

Date: Monday, June 20, 2011, 11:40am MST

A new report from the United States Conference of Mayors states metro areas will be slow to regain their pre-recession employment levels, and the Phoenix-area economy faces a particularly steep uphill climb.

The report states the Phoenix area has lost more than 244,000 jobs since its peak employment level in late 2007. Employment is not expected to reach that level again until the second quarter of 2016.

Of the 363 metro areas in the report, 75 are expected to have double-digit unemployment rates by December 2011, and 48 are not expected to return to peak employment until after 2020.

The mayors group predicts Phoenix will have an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent at the end of this year. That rate is predicted to drop to 7.3 percent by the end of 2013.

The mayors’ annual U.S. Metro Economies report anticipates the nation’s gross domestic project will jump from a sluggish 1.9 percent growth during the first half of 2011 to 3.5 percent for the second half.

The report also measures gross metropolitan product (GMP), which showed that Phoenix had the eighth smallest GMP growth among 347 metro areas last year. However, its 0.9 percent GMP growth was better than Tucson’s, which was just 0.1 percent.

The Phoenix-area’s GMP was $196.4 billion in 2007, but fell in 2008 and 2009 before the small gain last year.

Other report findings include:

  • National unemployment will be at 8.6 percent at the end of 2011 and not fall below 8 percent until late 2013.
  • Only in the first half of 2014 will employment in the U.S. match its previous peak level of early 2008.
  • By the end of 2011, 75 metros will have double-digit unemployment rates, and 193 metros (53 percent) will have rates higher than 8 percent.
  • Following consecutive years of decline in 2008 and 2009, total real GMP increased by 3.1 percent in 2010, with 347 (out of 363) metros experiencing increases
  • Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 37 of them belong to metropolitan areas of the United States.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the U.S. today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.


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