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Hobbs touts jobs numbers as state continues economic development efforts

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(The Center Square) – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs touted economic numbers at an event at a Carpenters Union center in west Phoenix on Thursday morning.

The governor specifically highlighted how Arizona added 81,800 jobs year-over-year from Jan. 2023 to Jan. 2024, and the state is now fourth in the nation for “job growth” compared with 11th in the previous year, according to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

“We are leading the way in building an economy that works for everyone,” Hobbs said.

“We have one of the best workforces in the country, and businesses are coming here in droves because of people like the men and women that are standing here beside me,” she added emphasizing “workforce development programs.”

The event also emphasized apprenticeships, as there are concerns both state and nationwide about having enough workers to fill trade positions such as carpenters or technicians in the semiconductor industry.

“Over the last year and beyond, Arizona has been a jobs magnet,” Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson said. According to a January report from Newmark, Phoenix was the top metropolitan area for manufacturing growth starting from 2020.

When The Center Square asked about hurdles in the semiconductor industry, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company experiencing another delay to possibly as late as 2028, according to Manufacturing Dive in January, Watson expressed optimism.

“As it relates to TSMC and their operations, they continue to make progress and I think they are now on schedule,” Watson said.

“And they’ve been working very closely with the governor and our team to ensure that they’re meeting their timelines,” she continued.

The governor was flanked with boards on each side of her, which dubbed her as “Governor Jobbs.” However, the boards also touted slowing inflation numbers, even though state policy does little to impact inflation rates. When asked about the decision to include the figure, the governor did not give state-specific policies to tackle inflation but said the event is focused on the “full picture” economically.

The Center Square reported on Wednesday that inflation in the Phoenix area has slowed significantly since 2022.

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