Arizona will have added more than 100,000 jobs by the end of the year, including 86,000 in the greater Phoenix area, economist Dennis L. Hoffman said Wednesday at the 59th Annual ASU/PNC Bank Economic Forecast Luncheon.
Arizona continues to have a growth-friendly economic environment with a competitive tax structure, but falling housing affordability, inflation and interest rate hikes threaten economic expansion, said Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Institute, which is part of the Arizona State University’s WP Carey School of Business .
Though the state is still creating jobs, Hoffman urged attendees at the downtown Phoenix luncheon to take steps to bring more innovators and entrepreneurs to Arizona, such as: B. the emphasis on education.
“I want us to be more aware of the fact that young and innovative people can work and live anywhere in this country,” said Hoffman, who is also director of the ASU Office of University Economists. “We have to be attractive and welcoming to these people.”
Hoffman was one of the economists who painted a fairly rosy outlook for Arizona against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and high inflation in the country.
Christopher Waller, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, said taming inflation remains the Fed’s top priority, even if it means causing near-term economic pain.
“Our goal is to rein in demand, to bring demand and supply into better balance, which will help ease upward pressure on inflation,” Waller said at the luncheon hosted by the WP Carey School and the PNC Bank was sponsored.
Arizona has done well in the national rankings when it comes to economy. For example, in a recent survey by job resource website CareerCloud, it ranked fifth for offering the strongest job prospects. Florida, Washington, Delaware and Nevada followed. The survey also found that Arizona offers employers a large and well-educated workforce.
Pointing to census data, Hoffman said Arizona remains the fourth fastest growing state in terms of population growth and is among the top three destinations for domestic relocations. Panelists noted that Arizona has long touted its relatively low cost of living and has lower minimum wages than some other states.
The state minimum wage of $12.80 an hour is set to rise to $13.85 starting Jan. 1.
However, housing affordability has declined due to rising property prices. According to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, home prices in the Phoenix area are expected to rise 1.7% over the 12 months beginning September.
“Housing is significantly less affordable here in Arizona than it was five years ago,” Hoffman said, adding that it’s especially tough for millennials and other younger home buyers.