It is official — we have begun the most rapid economic recovery in the history of Arizona.
Between April and May of this year, Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped from 13.4 percent to 8.9 percent, with our state’s economy adding more than 160,000 jobs. The 4.5 percent drop in Arizona’s unemployment rate was larger than all but four other states.
President Trump’s recent executive order temporarily suspending issuance of new work visas will ensure that those new jobs go to American workers, rather than immigrants willing to work for lower wages. As residents of a border state, Arizonans are acutely aware that competition with foreign workers not only deprives citizens of jobs, but also drives down wages for all workers.
It’s no wonder the President chose to highlight Arizona’s success with his recent visit.
Arizona is clearly at the forefront of the V-shaped economic recovery taking place nationwide, as evidenced by the May jobs report. Economists had forecasted a loss of 7.25 million jobs and a 4.3 percent increase in the unemployment rate, but instead the United States economy gained 2.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate fell by more than a full percentage point in just one month.
This shocked the so-called experts, but it should have been easy to predict based on President Trump’s economic track record prior to the pandemic. Before the novel coronavirus came to our country from China, we were setting economic records left and right — the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years; the fastest income growth in over a decade; the lowest unemployment rates ever recorded for blacks, Hispanics, and Asian Americans.
By cutting unnecessary job-killing regulations, for instance, the President ushered in a Blue Collar Boom and an American energy revolution. Prior to the pandemic, there were consistently more job openings in this country than there were job-seekers, putting pressure on employers to compete for talent by offering higher wages, better benefits, and improved working conditions.
In addition, the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 saved the average Arizona taxpayer nearly $1,400 per year on their federal income taxes. For a typical family of four, the tax cuts are projected to boost average take-home pay by over $30,000.
The Trump administration pulled off a similar feat at the nadir of the artificial COVID-19 recession, spearheading the bipartisan CARES Act that provided a $1,200 tax refund to nearly every American adult. This support was critical for families that were facing unprecedented economic uncertainty. Just as importantly, the President’s team also helped craft a relief program for small businesses, which employ nearly half of the American workforce. This is so important because small businesses account for 99.4 percent of all businesses in Arizona, employing roughly 1 million Arizonans.
The President’s proactive measures to shore up the U.S. economy during this crisis allowed us to keep our economic foundations intact, setting us up for the V-shaped recovery that we are now experiencing. The pro-growth agenda that he put in place long before the pandemic will allow us to maintain that trajectory until we are once again setting all-time records for prosperity.
We can be equally certain about the alternative — presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden also has an extensive economic track record, and it’s not pretty. The Obama-Biden administration presided over the slowest economic recovery since World War II, and Biden would double down on that failed approach if given the chance, including massive tax increases and a whole new generation of onerous regulations on business.
Arizona has already embarked on the fastest economic recovery in history — and the best is yet to come.
Art Del Cueto is Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council.