A new report released by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity is giving small business owners some hope. The report is projecting strong job growth in the state over the next two years, with the largest gains happening in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.
According to the report, Arizona is expected to gain more than 325,000 jobs between spring 2020 and the same time next year, a 5.5 percent annualized growth rate. The report predicts job growth in all 15 counties and all sectors excluding government.
Arizona’s leisure and hospitality sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, is expected to bounce back and experience a 12.8 percent annualized growth rate. That means adding 69,901 jobs — the fastest job growth rate of any sector included in the report. The report also notes Arizona’s manufacturing sector is projected to experience a 3.1 percent annualized growth rate, a gain of more than 10,000 jobs and more than 5,000 above pre-pandemic levels.
Arizona’s population grew by nearly 129,600 people from July 2019 to July 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released in December 2020.