[COLUMN| Tucson economy has to get off the dime, growth stunted

tucson-economy-617x347By Tim Steller | Arizona Daily Star

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are posted for discussion purposes only.)

Two main meanings of “growth” used to be entangled in Tucson’s vocabulary.

For decades, population growth here drove economic growth, so they were treated as one thing called, simply, “growth.” Some people supported growth because it meant prosperity; others opposed it because it meant urban sprawl.

On Friday, it became clearer than ever that in Tucson, those two meanings are finally becoming disentangled. At UA economist George Hammond‘s annual economic forecast event, he said the metro area’s population growth hit 1.1 percent in 2014 and isn’t likely to hit 1 percent for the next three years.

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