Arizona was recently ranked third in the nation for economic momentum by State Policy Reports, which is a two-spot improvement from last year.
State Policy Reports is issued semi-monthly by Federal Funds Information, which analyzes the impact of federal activity in an effort to assist states in managing their federal funds.
The momentum is based on the state’s growth of personal income, employment and population, according to the report.
“Personal income, employment and population growth–the way it works is that they’re all interrelated. We’re a state that is very attractive to individuals when our economy is healthy,” said Jim Rounds, Rounds Consulting Group president.
As Arizona grows and more jobs become available, many of the state’s developments produce high-paying jobs.
“Now we’re starting to attract a new type of job, which is the higher wage jobs and that creates additional ripple effects in the economy that helps everybody. So, when you’re attracting the higher wage jobs you start to see better growth in personal income,” Rounds said.
The universities and other research efforts contribute to Arizona’s creation of high-paying job opportunities.
The Phoenix Biomedical Campus and its Wexford Science and Technology building, which recently broke ground, along with other developments are set to generate 7,000 new jobs in the health care and bioscience fields in 24 months.
Rounds explained that Arizona should continue to be responsible with its economic development programs and focus on building a quality workforce environment.
“We’re more maintaining a healthy economy rather than having to create this foundation from the beginning. It’s easier to maintain something. If you let things deteriorate, it can be very expensive to get it back in shape,” Rounds explained.
Round said it is important to “keep going with the policies we’ve been implementing” and set politics aside in an effort to figure out the best way to continuously improve the economy.
“If we continue to focus on all these fundamental things that we’ve been doing coming out of the governor’s office, even out of the Arizona Chamber [of Commerce and Industry], the work done by the Arizona-Mexico Commission, GPEC [Greater Phoenix Economic Council]- everybody’s kind of coming together and we’re working toward this quality component,” Rounds said.
While Arizona was ranked third in the nation for economic momentum, the work to improve economic health is never done, according to Rounds.
“What we want to do is we want to keep improving our position,” Rounds said. “So, it’s not necessarily ‘Are we winning a basketball game?’ It’s more like playing golf. Can we improve our score each time we go out there and can we better ourselves?”