economy

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Earlier this week, Navajo farmers in New Mexico voted to keep irrigation canals along the San Juan River closed for at least a year. They have concerns about soil contamination following the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado. Meanwhile, officials in Page are worried about the incident causing a drain on the local economy, even though scientists say Lake Powell remains mostly unaffected.  Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Arizona Department of Transportation

State highway officials say key commerce routes in Arizona will require $20 billion in improvements over the next two decades, but revenue from the current gasoline tax won't meet that need.

Arizona State Engineer Dallas Hammit says the current gas tax generates only about one-half of the revenue needed to deal with the state's burgeoning highway and interstate needs.

Navajo Times

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez is addressing the rising suicide rate in Indian Country. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, as part of the effort, he’s making a call for the preservation of the Navajo language. 

Arizona's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from March.

The national unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.4 percent in April.

The state Department of Administration says Arizona's economy gained 2,200 non-farm jobs last month.

Across Arizona's economy, seven of the 11 sectors added jobs and four reported losses in April.

Analysts say Professional and Business Services added 3,300 jobs with Government adding 1,900 jobs and Construction 1,300 jobs last month.

Ryan Heinsius

A group advocating for higher minimum wages in Arizona has filed a lawsuit against the state. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the suit seeks to overturn a law it says unconstitutionally takes power away from the local level.

NAU

A recent study ranked Flagstaff as having the lowest private-sector wages in the nation when adjusted for cost of living. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, a low-paying tourism economy and costly real estate contribute to the ranking. 

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Governor Jan Brewer is headed off to Europe this week in hopes of boosting trade. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

azcapitoltimes.com

A new report today shows the state’s jobless rate jumped for the third month in a row. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer has details.

flagstaffmedicalcenter.com

The state’s jobless rate jumped a tenth of a point last month, to 7 percent. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports, there’s one really bright spot in the economy.

Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times

In early July, Democratic Representative Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona’s First Congressional District introduced a bill designed to spur economic development on the Navajo Nation. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it would affect some of the reservation’s poorest areas.

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