The rise of personal income

Arizona experienced a 5.5 percent increase in personal income from 2017 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

With the U.S. average personal income increase at 4.5 percent, Arizona was in the top five for its growth.

“Rising personal income is always a good thing. And, for Arizona to have a 5.5 [percent] increase, it’s important for the households of Arizona, the people of Arizona and it’s also good for the overall economy,” said Alan Maguire, The Maguire Company president and principal economist. “The more money there is in personal income, the more money there is to spend at stores and events and on services,” Maguire said.

Earnings were the leading contributor to personal income growth in 2018.  Industries such as construction, health care and social assistance; finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and administrative and waste management services were the largest contributors from 2017 to 2018.

Arizona’s various jobs attract workers, and its skilled workers attract employers.

“Arizona is creating a lot of jobs, we historically have created a lot of jobs. On average over the last half-a-century, Arizona has been a high job creation state. So, that makes people want to move here,” Maguire said. “More jobs mean more people; more people mean more jobs. We have more people, which means businesses want to be here.”

In addition to meeting workers’ needs, Arizonans have a variety of skills to offer that can meet an employer’s needs.

“Employers see other industries growing and they’re looking at a place they want to move because they want to expand. With Arizona they see a positive climate, they see a place that people want to move,” Maguire said.

The jobs and skilled workers are not the only things that draw people to the state.

“It’s our positive business climate and our positive cultural climate that makes people want to live here and it’s why employers want to move here,” Maguire said.

Maguire explained that leaders in Arizona excel at setting a positive tone and showing people what the state has to offer.

For example, he notes, “The [Arizona] Commerce Authority has done a great job for the last decade encouraging new employers in Arizona and enticing employers in Arizona to expand.”

The Arizona Commerce Authority is an economic development organization that works to recruit out-of-state companies and help Arizona companies grow and create new jobs.

“Sandra Watson, the president and CEO of the Commerce Authority, is a very positive person. That makes a big difference,” Maguire said. “You meet a person like Sandra and you go, ‘Well golly, if she’s in charge of economic development in that state out there, it must be a pretty positive environment. She’s going places.’”

He added, “The same can be said about Governor Ducey. He comes across as a very positive person. When you meet him you go, ‘This guy’s got energy, that state must have energy.’”

A ready workforce and strong economic developments, along with a welcoming atmosphere and positive lifestyle help Arizona stand out.

“It’s easy to get around, traffic is fine, streets are wide, stores are clean and great. It’s a wonderful place to live. And, all of that contributes to the positiveness and having a little more cash to spend with the higher personal income is even better,” Maguire said.

Sierra Ciaramella

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