I want to help make Arizona the most vibrant economy in the country—one that attracts companies from across America and around the world to set up shop and deliver great opportunities to our workers. But when it comes to attracting well-paying jobs that can deliver economic security to working families, we continue to fall short of our potential.
A BMO Capital Markets report ranked Arizona 30th in the country for labor conditions (measuring job growth, average weekly hours, weekly earnings and the state's jobless rate). We saw only half the job gains in 2016 that we did in 2015, and our job growth is falling below the country’s overall pace.
If we want to fulfill our true potential, we must create the right business conditions and make smart, targeted investments:
We need to work more closely with the private sector and local economic development organizations to bring 21st century jobs to our state. Nothing should stop Arizona—and especially our communities in the East Valley—from being centers of innovation in technology, biotech and healthcare, next-generation energy, and high-value services. Our loss of the Tesla GigaFactory to Nevada showed that we must compete more aggressively with neighboring states for these kinds of investment.
We need to encourage more home-grown enterprises by providing small businesses with greater access to capital and looking for ways to reduce regulatory burdens that inhibit investment and growth. At the same time, of course, we must continue to protect the health of our citizens and the environment.
We must diversify our export base. Today, 41% of our state’s manufacturing exports are bound for Mexico. But if our federal government becomes embroiled in a trade war with our southern neighbor, those exports will be in jeopardy. We need to attract investment from across the country and other parts of the world to diversify our economy and open up new markets for Arizona’s exports.