Tucson Outlook: Regaining Momentum

George Hammond, Ph.D., EBRC Director and Research Professor

The Tucson MSA is adding jobs, residents, and income. While the preliminary employment estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest little or no growth so far this year, it is likely that subsequent revisions to the data will show stronger gains. These revised estimates will be available next March.

Figure 1 shows the magnitude of the expected revision. The blue line shows the current preliminary data from BLS. The red line shows EBRC’s benchmark estimate. This estimate takes advantage of a high-quality source of employment data (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages), which BLS will eventually use to revise their preliminary data. I expect the revised data from BLS to be closer to the red line than to the blue line.

Figure 1: Tucson Jobs, Before and After Revision as Estimated by EBRC

If the national economy continues to expand next year, Arizona, Phoenix, and Tucson are well positioned to grow. In particular, the steady growth posted in Tucson this year is forecast to carry on into 2018, with job, population, and income growth at rates near the national average.

The latest forecasts from the Economic and Business Research Center are summarized quarterly in the Arizona’s Economy online magazine. You can find a brief narrative summary and a sample of forecast data for Arizona, the Phoenix MSA, and the Tucson MSA. Also available on Arizona’s Economy are the presentations from Eller’s latest Economic Outlook Luncheon, held in Tucson on December 8, 2017.