Economic Update

Sandra Watson b&w.jpg1

Sandra Watson
President and CEO Arizona Commerce Authority


Spring is an exciting time in Arizona, as thousands of visitors make their annual pilgrimage to the Valley to take in the Arizona sunshine and sporting events including the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Spring Training baseball, and this year, the NCAA Final Four Championship.

It’s an equally sunny time for Arizona’s business climate. In the past several months alone, Arizona has hit multiple economic-development home runs that have further enhanced our state’s reputation as a major center for global expansions.

A recent report by economists at Wells Fargo Securities found that Arizona’s employment growth has consistently outpaced the nation, and our real GDP growth continues to trend upward. The report specifically cited Arizona’s surge of technology company expansions, a growing concentration of automotive technology, and major announcements involving Intel, Apple and Raytheon Missile Systems. The report called the Grand Canyon State the best place in the country for aerospace manufacturing in 2016.

This momentum has steadily increased under Governor Ducey’s leadership. His commitment to making Arizona the best place for business continues to pay dividends for our state.

In just the past four months, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and our partners have announced five projects that account for over NINE THOUSAND projected new jobs and EIGHT BILLION in capital investment:

  • Raytheon will create nearly 2,000 more jobs right here in Tucson, adding to its already impressive workforce.
  • Lucid Motors is bringing 2,000 jobs to Casa Grande.
  • ADP announced 1,500 new jobs in Tempe, and will increase its Tucson employment to 400, bringing statewide employment to nearly 2,000.
  • Orbital ATK will create 500 new jobs at its Gilbert facility.
  • Intel announced it will create 3,000 new direct jobs at its Fab42 operation in Chandler. Notably, these direct jobs are expected to create an additional 7,000 indirect jobs.

In addition to these major wins, Google and General Motors have been testing their autonomous cars on our streets for months now. And we welcomed Uber’s driverless fleet to Arizona right before Christmas. Leading technology companies ZipRecruiter and Houzz have also established offices here in our state. Arizona has clearly established itself as a technology hub and a center of excellence in innovation.

This activity has put the ACA on track for another record-breaking year. To date during Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – February 28, 2017), our team has worked with clients who have committed to creating over 18,000 projected new high-quality jobs and investing over $9 billion in capital in our communities.

The message I would like to leave you with is this: Arizona is open for business, we’re growing, and there’s no slowing us down. Arizona is a prime destination for those looking for new opportunities, and I am confident that we will be announcing much more positive economic development news for Arizona in the coming months.