Tag Archives: job creation

ScottsdaleStoplight

Scottsdale’s Bell Lexus Brings 95 jobs, Projects $90M in First-Year Sales

A new luxury car dealership on Scottsdale Road south of Loop 101 will open Monday, Sept. 30. Bell Lexus North Scottsdale, a new 103,000-square-foot facility at the southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard, is expected to employ 95 people. The dealer is projecting $90 million in sales its first year.

“This is a crucial commercial area for Scottsdale’s economic future,” said Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “The new Bell Lexus North Scottsdale anchors an area of vacant land next to the freeway that will see some exciting and important activity in the years ahead.”

City officials expect to see residential, commercial and retail development activity near the new auto dealership in the year ahead.

Bell Lexus made the move from north central Phoenix to this new Scottsdale location to build a state-of-the art facility closer to many of their customers.

“Bell Lexus, Arizona’s original Lexus Dealership, is pleased and excited to be moving to its new facility,” said General Manager Bryant Berge. “Our modern Scottsdale facility features an easily accessible, very convenient location for all our customers to enjoy.

“The city of Scottsdale has truly been a partner in moving this project from paper to reality. They assembled a dedicated team, comprised of economic development and other planning staff, to escort us through every step of the application, site design, planning and the public hearing processes; facilitating the entire process seamlessly. The entire Berge family and development team felt welcomed to the city of Scottsdale from day one,” Berge said.

The new dealership sits on a 30-acre parcel which was auctioned by the Arizona State Land Department in May, 2012.

A ribbon cutting will mark the official opening of the dealership at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30, and is open to the public.

Tumbleweed Logo

Tumbleweed Center Relocates Phoenix Headquarters

Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development will expand and relocate its headquarters from Downtown Phoenix to Siete Square II, 3707 N. 7th St. in Midtown, according to Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc.

Tumbleweed was established in 1972 with a mission to provide a safe space for collaborating with youth and young adults in the community who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness.  The organization serves more than 3,000 young people each year, ages 12 to 25 years.

“Tumbleweed made a very shrewd decision to expand and relocate its headquarters at this time, locking in to today’s historically low rates.  This allowed us to lower occupancy costs over the long term,” said Paul Andrews of Cushman & Wakefield.  “This strategy cut thousands of dollars in future rent expense that now can be redirected back into the organization’s much needed programs that serve Metro Phoenix’s teenage youth.”

The local non-profit has leased 13,047 square feet at the garden office complex and will locate from 1419 N. 3rd Street in fall of 2013.

Siete Square II is one of four buildings within the larger Siete Square garden office complex.  The Indiana Farm Bureau owns Siete Square II.  Paul Andrews of Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. represented Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development in its lease negotiations.

Phil Breidenbach and Lindsey Carlson of Colliers serve as exclusive leasing agents for Siete Square II, representing the Indiana Farm Bureau.

WellsFargoLogo

Wells Fargo Plans 410,000 SF Expansion in Chandler

By Eric Jay Toll, Senior Correspondent for Arizona Builder’s Exchange |

Special to Arizona Commercial Real Estate magazine

 

Wells Fargo unveiled its 410,000-square-foot Chandler campus expansion to a neighborhood meeting in the East Valley September 16. Arizona Builder’s Exchange broke the story Monday night that the bank filed a rezoning application with the city to allow a pair of four-story buildings on the northwest corner of Price and Queen Creek roads in the Price Corridor.

More than 2,500 additional employees will work in the new Wells Fargo buildings, bringing campus employment to more than 5,000 workers.

The bank has selected an architect, but has not named the contractor for the project. A formal announcement with construction schedule is expected shortly. AZBEX reports sources saying the project could cost as much as $90 million.

The building shapes, design and materials are intended to mirror Phase I of the campus. The offices will rise to 64 feet. Three more buildings and parking garages are projected for future phases. The city has not set a hearing date for the zoning. Wells Fargo has not yet announced its construction schedule.

Read the original story here.

 

Eric Jay Toll is the senior correspondent for Arizona Builder’s Exchange. His freelance work appears in a number of regional and national publications, including upcoming stories in AZRE and AZ Business.

105624533

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists Boast Job Creation, Charity Work, Innovation

Despite the slow economic recovery, Arizona already has many businesses showing impressive growth and even job creation. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is recognizing 10 of the state’s biggest achievers as finalists for this year’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

The awards, now in their 16th year, honor firms for ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Sundt Construction. Finalists are noted for creating a positive culture both internally and in the community as a whole.

This year’s finalists are:

180 Degrees Automotive, a woman-owned, full-service auto repair center that caters especially to women and minorities. The company has moved to bigger locations four times in six years, provides free car classes to women, hosts an art exhibit, gives free rides home, and leaves a gift in each car with each visit.

CyberMark International, a full-service Internet marketing firm named one of the best in North America by a panel of marketing professionals. CyberMark won a 2011 ethics award from the local Better Business Bureau, offers 24/7 availability for its clients, gives employees flexible hours, and donates service free of charge to several nonprofit organizations.

Daphne’s Headcovers, a novelty golf-club cover business started when the owner was just 16 years old, that once grew 400 percent in just one quarter. Daphne’s now serves fine resorts and golf shops in 75 countries, has covers in the bags of more than 200 touring pro golfers, and offers customers a lifetime guarantee to repair or replace products for free.

GlobalMed, a company that offers telemedicine solutions like innovative cameras, medical devices and software, so health practitioners can provide care to remote patients via telecommunications or satellite. GlobalMed made Inc. Magazine’s 2012 list of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing private companies, and it also made large donations to charity, including the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program.

Hard Dollar, a Scottsdale-based firm that provides software for planning, budgeting and managing big projects in construction, mining and energy. Hard Dollar has more than 200,000 global users, 30-percent year-over-year growth, a company-wide wellness program, and a cost-management system that can increase productivity by 300 percent.

LawLogix Group, a fast-growing provider of immigration, I-9 and E-Verify software. The company boasts a 96.9-percent client-retention rate, low 3-percent employee turnover, a large amount of nonprofit work, and more than 155,000 organizations as customers, including Fortune 500 companies.

NJOY Electronic Cigarettes, a company founded in 2006 that now has a 40-percent share of the electronic cigarette industry, which offers smokers a tobacco-free alternative to traditional cigarettes. The firm sells in most of the nation’s biggest convenience-store chains and offers a recycling program for its products.

Optimal Performance Training, a team of health and fitness professionals started by one man inside a small chiropractor’s office. The company has grown to a large studio, where high school and college Division 1 athletes train, and it promotes a community perspective.

Real Property Management East Valley, a full-service residential property management company that grew to a multi-million dollar business in less than five years. This family-owned firm prides itself on positive client referrals, which have led to about 40 percent of its new growth, as well as involvement with community groups, including the Boy Scouts and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Divers Posse.

Total Transit, a comprehensive mobility management company that runs the Discount Cab brand throughout Arizona. Total Transit has the largest fleet of environmentally friendly Prius cabs in North America and also provides innovative Dial-a-Ride services for Valley Metro and many large Medicaid and Medicare providers, while also donating to the community through its charitable Total Transit Foundation.

Hundreds of Valley entrepreneurs, community leaders, Arizona State University students and others are expected to attend the annual awards luncheon when the winners will be announced Nov. 1 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. One key program, Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), matches teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students with Valley companies to help tackle real-world challenges and opportunities. Companies can also use the center to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

For more information on the Spirit of Enterprise Center, visit www.spiritofenterprise.org. For sponsorship opportunities or awards luncheon reservations, please call (480) 965-0474 or visit www.spiritofenterprise.org.

economic crisis

Congress, Europe Must Stem Economic Crisis, Obama Says

President Barack Obama speaks on what he believes must be done in Congress and overseas to stem an economic crisis.

The economy at risk, President Barack Obama accused Republicans on Friday of pursuing policies that would weaken the U.S. recovery. He simultaneously urged Europe’s leaders to prevent an overseas debt crisis from dragging down the rest of the world.

At a White House news conference five months before Election Day, the president also said Republican allegations that his administration has leaked classified information for political gain were offensive. He said his administration has “zero tolerance” for any such practice.

Republicans fired back quickly on Obama’s comments on the economy, particularly his insistence that “the private sector is doing fine” when it comes to job creation.

Campaigning in Iowa, Republican rival Mitt Romney said Obama’s view was “defining what it means to be detached and out of touch.”

From the White House podium, the president urged passage of legislation that he said would create jobs — proposals that Republicans have long blocked.

“The recipes that they’re promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief to the housing market and would result … in lower growth,” said the president, who is locked in a close campaign for re-election.

Obama’s tone was markedly different when it came to European leaders, whom he prodded to inject money into the banking system. He also said it is in “everybody’s interest for Greece to remain in the eurozone,” despite the division of public opinion inside the country where austerity measures have been imposed to deal with out-of-control deficits.

“The Greek people also need to recognize that their hardships will likely be worse if they choose to exit from the eurozone,” Obama said.

“The solutions to these problems are hard, but there are solutions,” he said.

The president spoke after several days of difficult turns for his re-election prospects, including last Friday’s report that the unemployment rate had risen slightly to 8.2 percent in May as job creation had slowed, and new signs that the European debt crisis was hurting the U.S. economy.

In the overtly political realm, Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker turned back a recall movement led by organized labor, while former President Bill Clinton stirred controversy by saying Obama should be ready to sign a short-term extension of all expiring tax cuts — including those that apply to the wealthiest taxpayers that the president has vowed not to renew.

The president’s attack on Republicans was part of his campaign playbook in an election in which the economy is the top issue. Romney is campaigning for the White House as better equipped to created jobs, and polls make the race a close one, with only about a dozen battleground states in dispute.

Said McConnell: “The economy would respond much more favorably to providing the tax certainty Americans deserve by extending all the tax rates and assuring employers they do not have to budget for the largest tax increase in American history next year.”

Obama’s opening remarks were part jawboning and part economics lesson.

He stressed the importance of a strong European economy, saying, “If there’s less demand for our products in places like Paris or Madrid it could mean less business for manufacturers in places like Pittsburgh or Milwaukee.”

The president said that if Congress had passed his jobs bill from last fall, “we’d be on track to have a million more Americans working this year, the unemployment rate would be lower, our economy would be stronger.”

“Of course Congress refused to pass this jobs plan in full,” he said dismissively. “They left most of the jobs plan just sitting there, and in light of the headwinds we are facing right now I urge them to reconsider because there are steps we can take right now.”

Congress approved an extension of the payroll tax, which Obama said was helping the economy, but Republicans balked at calls for additional spending to provide funding for teachers, school construction, highways and more, citing concerns about the deficit.

The president said U.S. companies actually have been creating jobs at a faster clip than they did after the previous recession while state and local governments have been shedding them.

“Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy is in the state and local governments, often times cuts initiated by governors or mayor who are not getting the kind of help they got in the past from the federal government,” he said.

“If Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work,” they should enact legislation to permit the hiring of more teachers and law enforcement personnel, he said.

As for leaks of classified information, Obama said his administration has “zero tolerance” for it. Lawmakers are investigating recent leaks of sensitive information about the covert drone and cyberwars against terrorism. Republican Sen. John McCain has accused the Obama White House of leaking the information to bolster the president’s standing on national security grounds.

Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index

Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index Reports Growing Confidence In Economy

Each year, Grant Thornton works with business leaders nationwide to gauge their optimism in the U.S. economy. This project, titled the Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index, was started in 2002 with three key measures over time:

  • U.S. economy: Business leaders’ perceptions of whether the U.S. economy will improve, remain the same or deteriorate in the next six months.
  • Business growth: Business leaders’ perceptions about the growth of their own business over the next six months.
  • Hiring expectations: Whether business leaders expect the number of people their company employs to increase, remain the same or decrease in the next six months.

The most recent survey, available now, was conducted in late 2011 by an outside polling organization, with nearly 400 senior executives from various industries across the country responding.

And there is good news!

While in recent years the responses have been understandably tempered and/or negative, current data shows we may have finally gotten through the worst.

According to the Index, business leaders in the United States have a growing confidence in the economy. Specifically, one-third of all surveyed believe the domestic economy will improve in the next six months, compared with just 18 percent in the third quarter of 2011.

The Index itself rose 11.8 points to 57.9, reflecting increased optimism around key economic measures: the U.S. economy, business growth and hiring expectations.

Some specific data over time:

5/20108/2010 11/20102/2011 5/2011 8/2011 11/2011 
OVERALL Business Optimism Index*67.658.463.069.762.646.157.9
Believe U.S. economy will improve63%34%47%64%45%18%33%
Believe U.S. economy will get worse6%16%10%4%12%46%20%

Growth, we found, is also top-of-mind among our nation’s leaders.

In fact, 75 percent are optimistic about their companies’ growth in the next six months, up from 60 percent in the third quarter of 2011. Hiring appears to be on the rise as well, with 37 percent of U.S. business leaders noting that they expect to increase staff levels in the next six months, up from 28 percent in the previous quarter.

However, the U.S. optimism is still very reliant on how struggles occurring in the global marketplace, including Europe and China, are being dealt with.

Additional data collected over the past two years:

5/20108/2010 11/20102/2011 5/2011 8/2011 11/2011
Very or somewhat optimistic about own business87%76%79%87%79%60%75%
Very or somewhat pessimistic about own business13%24%21%13%21%40%25%
Plan to increase staff44%38%43%49%40%28%37%
Plan to decrease staff12%15%15%10%12%25%14%

When asked what public policy initiative would make business leaders most optimistic about in the country’s future, a job creation program was rated highest, as in the prior quarter.

Please rank in order the public policy initiatives listed below that if adopted would make you most optimistic about our country’s future. Rank from 1 to 5, with 1 being most optimistic and 5 being least optimistic:

Public policy initiativeMost Optimistic
Job creation43%
Deficit reduction31%
European plan to promote international economic security17%
Reduction in effective corporate tax rate7%
Regulatory adjustments to improve IPO market access2%

While we still have a long way to go, this data represents improved optimism in our nation’s future success, growth over time and economic stability.

For more information or for the detailed white paper on the Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index, please visit gt.com.

IPOs

To Create Phoenix Jobs, Resuscitate IPOs

Job creation in Phoenix is a critical issue that threatens our hope for a sustained economic recovery. While we have heard many suggestions for creating Phoenix jobs, we have yet to hear of the positive role that resuscitating the initial public offering (IPO) market can play on job creation. By taking a look back at successes of the past, perhaps it can help to resuscitate IPOs as we move forward to economic recovery.

1990s

  • Net creation of more than 20 million jobs in the United States
  • Average of 530 corporate IPOs per year (excluding funds, LPs, REITs and SPACs)
  • Nearly half of IPOS came from traditional America (neither venture capital nor private equity sponsored)

IPOs in the 1990s inspired confidence and created a source of capital that led to equity investment in private companies, giving rise to a “virtuous circle” of capital formation, job growth, innovation and increases in tax revenues.

2000s

From 2000 to 2009, we saw an average of only 126 corporate IPOs per year – down more than 76 percent from the prior decade, nowhere near enough to replace the 360 public companies that are lost annually to delistings.

Common sense dictates that when the number of IPOs declines, the availability of capital for job creation shrinks; when the number of companies de-listed from stock markets exceeds the number listed, jobs are shed. This “circle of destruction” undermines investment in private companies — considered the “foundation of job formation” — leaving behind a “foundation for unemployment.”

Consider that by 2000, unemployment had fallen to a mere four percent after an eight-year decline that coincided with the robust IPO market. Unemployment began to rise in the next few years amid the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the dissolution of thousands of businesses, but then ebbed once again from 2004-2007 as IPOs modestly reemerged. As we have seen, the credit crisis and the concurrent disappearance of IPOs in the past couple of years has been the backdrop for a sharp rise in unemployment.

2010s

The antidote is simple: restore the ecosystem that supported the allocation of capital to small Phoenix companies.

To do this we need to create a new stock market structure — subject to the same regulatory oversight and disclosure requirements that govern the NYSE and NASDAQ — that provides specifically for adequate economic incentives for Wall Street to return to the business of supporting small companies with research, capital and sales support. This new market would have minimum spreads of $0.10 for stocks below $5 per share and $0.20 for stocks trading at or above $5 per share, thus restoring incentives for brokerages to pursue profitability, while providing sufficient economics to support small cap liquidity.

The U.S. stock market once was the envy of the world — in large part because it fueled economic growth. Access to capital is the life blood of growing companies.

Resuscitating the IPO market for small cap businesses may not be the sole answer to Phoenix job creation, but it certainly should be part of every conversation.

For more information about resuscitating IPOs, please visit gt.com.

Phoenix Mayoral Debate, Real Estate

Phoenix Mayoral Candidates Debate Commercial Real Estate Issues

Filling existing vacant commercial buildings, impact fees and economic development incentives were some of the issues discussed by the six City of Phoenix mayoral candidates Friday at Valley Partnership’s monthly breakfast meeting.

Anna Brennan, Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely, Greg Stanton and Jennifer Wright answered questions and made their pitch why they should be Phoenix’s next mayor before a packed audience at the Phoenix Country Club.

The first question: Arizona’s economy has taken its toll on commercial real estate is our state. What is your plan for attracting users to existing vacant commercial buildings and jumpstarting new commercial development in Phoenix?

Gullett said his focus was on helping small businesses, attracting new jobs, and making sure there is also job growth. He also said the challenge he sees is a lack of investment capital. His vision is for a partnership with banks to create an investment pool.

Neely stressed the importance of job creation, and the fact that the Valley needs to become more competitive as a region. Wright pointed out the 30 percent vacancy rate among commercial buildings in Phoenix. She added the city’s development department must be more business friendly.

The second question: Most cities in the Valley assess development impact fees on commercial development. Some subsidize certain categories of impact fees to attract certain kinds of development. Others have very limited categories of fees. What do you think the City of Phoenix’s approach should be to assessing impact fees for commercial development?

Stanton alluded to the ill-fated CityNorth project because it was a public-private partnership in which part of the impact fees helped build the development’s parking garage. He added that impact fees should generate “growth that pays for itself.”

The third question: Are you in favor of providing economic development incentives like infrastructure reimbursements to commercial projects?

Stanton, Brennan, Gullett and Maddox said yes. Gullet said it’s a “good gamble as jobs are created.. It has to be applied across the board.”

The fourth question involved a zoning case. A Fortune 500 company wants to relocate its corporate headquarters on Camelback Road and has a site tied up. They want 10 stories. If they can’t get 10 stories, the building goes to a Tempe Town Lake site. The General Plan dictates the Phoenix site can have a maximum of four stories. A highly organized neighborhood group says it was promised that high rises wouldn’t go this far east and that the city shouldn’t break that promise. How do you vote?

Wright, Brennan, Maddox and Neely voted in favor of rezoning the property. Gullett and Staton voted against.

And finally, when asked to describe their leadership style in one word, their responses:

Gullett – patience; Maddox – committed; Neely – decisive; Stanton – smart; Wright – determined; and Brennan – a facilitator.

The City of Phoenix mayoral election is Aug. 30.

 

 

 

 

arizona flag 2011

Legislation to help re-establish Arizona as an economic leader

Gov. Jan Brewer today called the Legislature into Special Session for the consideration of a comprehensive plan to put Arizona back to work. Known as the Arizona Competitiveness Package, the proposal includes a mix of targeted business incentives and broad tax reforms designed to rev the Arizona economy.

“The Competitiveness Package will make Arizona a magnet for business expansion, relocation, capital formation and investment,” Brewer said. “This is our roadmap for future economic growth.” Improving Arizona’s competitiveness in the global marketplace is the first of the governor’s Four Cornerstones of Reform that she unveiled earlier this year. The centerpiece of the plan is her creation of an Arizona Commerce Authority.

Replacing the Arizona Commerce Department and its hodge-podge of more than 50 mandates and responsibilities, the Commerce Authority will have a single focus: the retention and recruitment of quality jobs for Arizona. The Commerce Authority will be overseen by a public-private board comprised of Arizona leaders in business and policy.

Designed to be nimble and flexible in responding to economic opportunities, the board will be armed with a $25 million deal-closing fund to help land some of the nation’s most highly-sought corporations and business ventures for Arizona. No dollars will be awarded prior to performance, and “claw-back provisions” and an independent, 3rd-party economic analysis will ensure that companies awarded public funds meet their promised obligations.

“This package of tax reforms and targeted investments will give Arizona the tools it needs to compete for economic development on the global stage,” said Don Cardon, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona can’t afford to wait for economic growth. We’re going to aggressively pursue quality jobs and stable industries that will become the bedrock of this state’s economic future.”

The Arizona Competitiveness Package is focused on both urban and rural job creation, and is intended to make this state a destination for business growth and development. Specific aspects of the plan include:

• The creation of a Quality Jobs Program, with corporate tax credits of up to $9,000 for each qualifying new job. ($3,000 per job, per year, with a 400-job cap).

• An increase in the electable state corporate income-tax sales factor to 100 percent, up from the current 80 percent. This will encourage firms to establish headquarters and manufacturing centers in Arizona.

• Re-authorization of the Arizona Job Training Program, providing job-specific, reimbursable grants to train employees for new careers.

• A four-year, phased-in reduction of the state’s corporate income tax to 4.9 percent, beginning in January 2014. This will give Arizona the nation’s fifth most competitive corporate income-tax rate.

• A 10 percent increase in the state’s Research & Development tax credit, encouraging further collaboration between Arizona’s research universities and the private sector.

• A 5 percent acceleration of the depreciation schedule for business personal property, spurring purchases of new equipment and other capital investments.

The Arizona Competitiveness Package is consistent with Brewer’s long-held call for corporate tax relief that would be phased-in after Proposition 100 expires and the state’s budget is on firmer footing.

“The development of a stable and growing economy is the key to Arizona’s future,” she said. “It will provide good jobs for our citizens and revenue for the state programs and services everyone enjoys. I urge legislators to act quickly in enacting these reforms and furthering Arizona’s economic recovery.”

Economic forecast

Economic Forecast Calls For Another Year Of Slow Recovery In 2011

Arizona’s economic recovery will continue to move at a glacial speed in 2011 — but at least it’s moving. The coming new year will see an increase in job creation, a rise in population and even a modest increase in single-family home permits. However, the consensus among economists at today’s 47th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, co-sponsored by the Department of Economics at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase, is that Arizona’s recovery will continue to be far less robust than economic rebounds of the past.

“Arizona was much harder hit in this recession than the rest of the country,” said Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W.P. Carey School of Business in an interview before the luncheon. “Overall the U.S. lost about 6 percent of jobs, while Arizona lost 11 percent of jobs and the Greater Phoenix area lost 12 percent of jobs. So, by that measure, Arizona’s problems were twice as large as the average state.”

According to McPheters, hampering Arizona’s growth in 2010 has been:

  • Consumers’ focusing on paying off debt rather than spending
  • Corporate profits improving but hiring deferred
  • The expected resurgence in single-family housing did not develop
  • Home prices have not yet stabilized
  • Small businesses facing tight credit conditions and weak demand
  • Stimulus programs ending


Job Growth

In terms of job creation, Arizona employment is expected to increase by 47,800 jobs in 2011, following three straight years of losses. The projected rate of growth for 2011 is 2 percent. That’s about double the rate of employment growth anticipated for the nation as a whole, but well below the state’s long-term average of 3.7 percent.

In addition, the state’s unemployment rate will remain above the 9 percent mark throughout 2011.

Still, even with Arizona being at ground zero of the burst housing bubble that dragged the rest of the nation into recession, the employment situation in the state has shown a marked improvement.

“For all of 2009, at the deepest point of the recession, only Nevada had weaker labor market conditions, and Arizona ranked 49th among the states in job growth (or losses),” McPheters said. “But in just the past couple of months, Arizona’s overall position is improving. The state ranked 12th based on October job creation in the 50 states. And in September, Phoenix added 27,400 jobs compared to the year before. Phoenix is the now the second-fastest growing metro area.”

Real Estate

The real estate and housing markets in Arizona remain weak in 2010, with single-family housing permits expected to be down 5 percent, marking a fifth consecutive year of declines. Single-family housing permits are expected to finally improve next year, with an anticipated increase of 25 percent. However, that increase stems from a base of 12,000 units in 2010, totaling just an additional 3,000 units. Compare that paltry number to the 80,000 annual permits handed out at the peak of the housing boom.

“Last year at this time, there was optimism about Arizona housing, but the growth never came,” McPheters said. “It looks like 2010 single-family building won’t even reach the level of 2009, which was the worst year of the recession. So most analysts are cautious right now about housing.”

One of those cautious analysts is Elliott Pollack, CEO of Elliott D. Pollack & Company in Scottsdale.

“The good news is that the worst is over, but it’s going to be a painfully slow recovery,” Pollack said in an interview before the forecast luncheon.

Pollack lists the following as reasons why the state’s housing market is showing only the slightest signs of improvement:

  • Tougher underwriting standards on mortgages
  • Up to 51 percent of the homes in Arizona have negative equity
  • Previous loan modifications have mostly failed
  • Foreclosures remain high
  • Option ARM resets do not peak until next year


How To Grow Green Jobs

How To Grow Green Jobs

I’m no economist but Nancy Folbre’s post on the Economix blog from the NY Times sure makes a lot of sense to me. Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and offers a compelling argument for growing green jobs.

She questions why a major public program hasn’t gotten any traction in Congress or the White House. So what’s the problem? Despite the fact that according to a recent Pew Foundation report that green jobs grew at a much faster rate (nearly two and a half times faster) than overall jobs and an increase of green jobs in the United States and in other countries, “more green job-creation proposals have gotten stuck in the mud,” Folbre writes. Her colleague at the University of Massachusetts, Robert Pollin, offered some insights, with a suggestion of a public-private program platform and a commitment from the Obama administration to create 18 million new jobs over the remaining three years of the presidential term among several other points. But is this realistic? And more importantly is this affordable?

Well Folbre quickly answers that later in her post stating:

“But Professor Pollin makes a persuasive case for affordability. His plan would mobilize private as well as public capital by expanding federal loan guarantees to encourage banks to invest in energy-saving projects.

The potential benefits are huge: the direct and indirect effects of his proposed initiative could add up to 18 million jobs over the next three years.

Even if national political will is lacking, a strong state or regional pilot project should be undertaken — a serious experiment in public job creation.”

Read Pollin’s full argument for reaching the goal of 18 million jobs by 2012 here.

I’m not quite sure about the economics but one thing I do know is that more jobs are definitely needed to truly help our nation recover. Working to enable green jobs, jobs that will help sustain not only our economy but our planet as well would be icing on the cake.

Sources:
economix.blogs.nytimes.com
www.thenation.com
www.pewtrusts.org