Monday, August 24, 2015

Downward trends…

Downward trends…

New numbers from the State Department of Administration show that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 6.1 percent, an increase from June. Nationally, the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.3 percent.  Three sectors posted losses including nearly 13,000 jobs lost in local education.

Further complicating the economic landscape for the state is news that Mexico’s Treasury Department has lowered its economic growth forecast for 2015. Last year, the state exported $8.6 billion to Mexico – which represents 41 percent of Arizona’s total international exports. On top of that, visitors from Mexico spend upwards of $7 million daily in Arizona. The economic relationship between Mexico and Arizona is important.

These numbers follow a report from The Phoenix Business Journal that businesses are avoiding the state because of “Arizona’s reputation on education.” According to the article, two companies considering relocations to Phoenix passed because “’they were afraid they would not find good schools for their own children.’” These businesses brought about 3,000 high-paying jobs to other cities.

The governor likes to say that Arizona is open for business, but our economic recovery has been characterized as uneven and many of the state’s largest stocks have stalled out this year. All of this news shows signs of a downward trend.

A true economic recovery plan should include funding for education. And the governor and other Republican leaders should be putting resources into classrooms now – new projections show that Arizona will end the year with a $325 million surplus and about $460 million in the state’s rainy-day fund. With the state’s economic future at stake, we have to #AskDuceyWhy he’s not investing in education now.

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