By Erin Thorburn | AZ Big Media
If you ever watched “Undercover Boss,” then you know the show’s premise involved wealthy executives posing as entry-level employees. Moguls like Steven Cloobeck, founder and former chariman of Diamond Resorts, and Mitch Modell, president and CEO of Henry Modell & Company and of Modell’s Sporting Goods, disguised themselves, later revealing their true identities. In the process, they often financially assisted or gifted employees in need. Mining is very much like an undercover boss. At first glance, it looks kind of familiar, but it’s not recognized as something particularly powerful. But, after closer inspection, what you come to realize is mining is a true boss for Arizona’s economy. In fact, in Arizona, mining packed a $15.4 billion economic impact in 2020. Now, that’s a boss move.
Copper helps drive demand and dollars
In addition to being a key fiscal driver, Arizona’s mining industry is a job producer, high-wage generator, and tax revenue creator.
“According to the National Mining Association, the U.S. mining industry, directly and indirectly, employs more than 1.5 million individuals paying in excess of $95 billion in labor income,” says Norm James, director of natural resources for Fennemore.
In 2020, the mining industry generated close to 48,000 direct and indirect jobs in Arizona. And mining jobs are among some of the highest earnings in the state, with an average wage of $81,000 per year — compared with an average wage for all workers in the United States of $59,000 per year.
If you’re wondering what makes Arizona mining an economic impact gangbuster, there are several reasons. And one of the most prominent is copper.