Employment, Percent Change
On average, employment growth needs to be as fast as population growth to keep the unemployment rate from rising. Employment gains are highly cyclical; employment growth typically exceeds population growth during economic expansions, but the percent change typically is less than that of population during recessions. In Arizona, the percent change in employment during economic expansions has dropped over time, a natural result of the considerable increase in the size of the Arizona economy. Employment growth exceeded population growth in Arizona from 2003 through 2007, but employment decreases occurred in each of the next three years while the population continued to rise. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the percent increases in employment again exceeded those of population.
Employment growth in Arizona typically is much greater than the national average, though the differential is much less during recessions. Employment decreased in Arizona from 2008 through 2010 by more than the national average. From 2011 through 2013, employment growth in Arizona was similar to the national average.