AZ Lottery Had Best Year Ever

Aug 17, 2012

The economy may still be on the mend. And the jobless rate is still north of 8 percent. But there's been a jump in those trying to scratch it rich.

Good and Bad News of AZ's Jobless Rates

Aug 16, 2012

The state's jobless rate jumped a bit last month. But that may hide some of the good news.

On paper, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 8.3 percent. And the number of people working last month was less than in June. But economist Aruna Murthy of the state Department of Administration said Arizona always loses jobs in July. More to the point, the losses this year were only half as much as what usually happens. What also is significant is this is the fifth month in a row where the year-over-year growth in private sector employment is higher than 2 percent.

One of the largest employers in Navajo County began handing out pink slips today.  And community leaders are worried about the impact on small towns already struggling in a tough economy.

More than 300 people work at the paper mill in Snowflake in northeastern Arizona, or they did until Tuesday. Catalyst Paper, the mill’s owner announced it was closing September 30th.

The company says the demand for newsprint has dropped every year since it took over the mill in 2008. That and increased operational costs forced the closure

Cost of Beef is Inflating Family Grocery Bill

Jul 26, 2012
Erik Calonius

The cost of feeding your family is going up, at least a bit. 

AZ Economy Showing Modest Growth

Jul 24, 2012

Retail sales last month were $4.05 billion. On paper, that's $100 million less than the same month a year earlier. But the Department of Revenue reports that the June 2011 figures were skewed to the tune of about $280 million because of how certain sales were classified. When that figure is backed out, the year-over-year growth is about 4.5 percent. Economist Dennis Hoffman of Arizona State University said that's not bad.

State's Jobless Rate Steady, But Recovery Not Stalled

Jul 19, 2012

The state's jobless rate remained at 8.2 percent for the third month in a row. But a closer look at the data suggests that does not mean the recovery here has stalled.

Peter O'Dowd / KJZZ

Trade between the United States and Mexico reached half a trillion dollars in 2011. Cross-border commerce is growing despite escalating drug violence in Mexico.

The final tally came out to $500 billion in goods and services traded between the two countries, according to a paper by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and Arizona State University's North American Center for Transborder Studies.

Peter O'Dowd / KJZZ

Here's a turnaround worth noting: The housing market in Phoenix is emerging from a historic slumber. Foreclosures are down, and new home sales are re-energizing the market -- up 35 percent from a year ago.

Let's get down to street level, shall we? How 'bout Ravenswood Drive near Gilbert's eastern edge.

Ken Peterson is a Vice President for Shea Homes. We're in a development called Spaces. And listen to this, air compressors and nail guns all around us.

AZ Personal Incomes Rising

Apr 2, 2012

The official report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis puts per capita  personal income in Arizona last year at $35,875. That's a 3.9 percent increase over the prior year. But that was not enough to keep pace with the rest of the nation were income went up 4.3 percent. The result is that Arizona remains in 40th place. Economist Tom Rex of Arizona State University said the numbers were to be expected.

"We're very, very cyclical in Arizona," said Rex. "I'm not surprised that we'd have another pretty mediocre year. Things will turn here over the next couple of years."


Workers at the bottom of the pay scale are going to keep getting raises each year to match inflation -- at least for the time being.