Commerce Department Expects Arizona to Add 16,500 Jobs in 2011

Phoenix, AZ – The state Department of Commerce expects Arizona to add 16,500
jobs in 2011. While that won't make up for the 25,700 jobs lost
this year, it should bring employment levels to where they were
in 2009. But the number of people working will still be about
300,000 less than at the end of 2007. Economist Aruna Murthy said
one question that remains is whether the jobs will stick.

(Times are changing and we are coming out of recession, the first
thing employers do is hire temporary help because they want to do
cost savings, don't want to pay the benefits. But when they feel
comfortable that there is demand for the products, they feel
comfortable transferring temporary employment to permanent
employment, they do that.)

Murthy does predict more hiring by restaurants and bars because
people are feeling a little more optimistic about the economy.

(People are beginning to spend. They may not be spending on
luxury goods. They want to go out and eat. Things in 2009 were so
bad and the job situation was so bad, anything that people could
cut they were cutting. So I think now, things (are) looking
slightly better. So people are feeling confident to go out and

And it looks like construction employment will make its first
gain in years, albeit largely because of federal stimulus
projects. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.