It doesn't match the boom years of the last decade. But a new report today predicts the state will add close to 61,000 jobs this coming year.
Aruna Murthy of the state Department of Administration, says several things are driving her prediction of a 2.5 percent year-over-year increase in employment. Murthy predicts strong growth in jobs at doctors' offices, hospitals and emergency care centers.
"Arizona's population is growing, even if it's growing at a slower rate," she said. "A lot of the baby boomer generation are getting old and they will all need health services."
Higher employment also is predicted by hotels, bars and restaurants, at least in part based on an improving economy leading to more tourism. And Murthy said the ability of consumers to refinance their homes, some through government-sponsored program, should lead to more spending -- and more jobs in retail trade.
"With both the effort at the national level, as well as the overall market performance in terms of interest rates, people have taken advantage of refinancing, thereby bringing down their monthly payment and allowing them to have more money to spend for other goods and services," she added.
But Murthy cautioned that outside forces could change everything, like the debt crisis in Europe and a cooling Chinese economy, both of which would mean less demand for exports.