Continued job growth, lower unemployment predicted for Arizona’s future

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By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star

Arizona should see continued job growth and a lower unemployment rate this coming year according to two economists.

But some of that could depend on whether the Donald Trump who ran for president is the same one who takes office on Jan. 20.

Lee McPheters, economics professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, said that when the final figures are in for this year the state will have added about 76,000 jobs. And he figures Arizona should create another 81,000 in 2017.

McPheters, one of the presenters at the school’s annual economic forecast luncheon on Monday, said that should be good enough to drop the seasonally adjusted jobless rate by the end of next year to 4.8 percent. The most recent report has the state at 5.2 percent.

But McPheters cautioned that much of the state’s future is tied to what policies the Trump administration puts in place. And key to that is trade, with Trump having campaigned on policies of blowing up existing agreements, notably the North American Free Trade Agreement, and renegotiating them on terms he believes are more favorable to the United States.

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