Rebounding from the recession was long and slow in the Old Pueblo. New numbers show Tucson has finally recovered.
A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the roughly 37,000 jobs that were lost when Tucson hit bottom eight years ago have returned.
In March 2007, jobs in the Tucson Metro Area peaked at 387,300. That number fell to 350,800 in September 2010. Preliminary job report numbers for September 2018 are 387,800.
George Hammond with the University of Arizona's Eller College says local business growth has been a contributing factor, such as the future Amazon facility and Raytheon expansion.
"One of the more encouraging signs is a rebound both in manufacturing, including aerospace, which are relatively high paying jobs," Hammond said. "And we've also seen construction really rebound, particularly over the past year or so."
Hammond expects this momentum to continue through 2019 and slow in 2020 nationwide with the aging and retirement of the Baby Boomers.
He says Tucson is doing much better than it has, but will have to continue to generate jobs over the next couple of years.
"I think we're gonna see the labor market continue to be fairly strong here in Tucson, so I think job opportunities will be more plentiful over the next couple of years, and I think we'll see that push wages up, so people will be earning more," Hammond said.
Preliminary numbers for September are out and revised job growth numbers will be released in March. In December.
Hammond and Eller College staff will share more on the current state and future of Tucson's economy at the yearly economic outlook luncheon in December.