Employment Growth Is Moderate
The annual benchmarking of the monthly employment estimates resulted in little change in 2012 and 2013 to the originally estimated figures, both nationally and in Arizona. The moderate rate of growth has changed little over the last two years, but growth in Arizona is considerably below the historical norm for an expansionary period.
Economic Growth in Arizona Again Exceeding National Average
Personal income for Arizona is reported quarterly by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. The year-over-year percent change in inflation-adjusted personal income typically has been considerably higher in Arizona than the national average. However, Arizona’s growth rate was less than the national average from mid-2007 through mid-2011, including seven consecutive quarters in which Arizona’s real personal income was lower than one year earlier. Beginning in mid-2012, Arizona’s annual percent increase has been greater than the U.S. average.
The size and growth of Arizona’s economy always are items of interest. However, the aggregate growth rate of an economy is unrelated to the region’s productivity and prosperity or to changes in its productivity and prosperity. High and rising productivity leads to high and rising prosperity. Measured by gross product per employee or earnings per employee, Arizona’s productivity is further below the national average than in the past. On all indicators of individual prosperity, such as per capita personal income and average wage, Arizona is below the national average—and generally has lost ground over time. Individual prosperity, sometimes referred to as economic well-being, is the ultimate goal to which communities strive.
Other topics in the Economy section of Arizona Indicators include the composition of the economy, living costs and inflation.