TUCSON, Ariz. - 2018 proved to be a good year for many businesses in the Old Pueblo. The jobs lost before the recession finally returned, and that momentum is expected to carry into the new year.
Tens of thousands of jobs were added, including 12,000 between November 2017 and November 2018, according to the University of Arizona's Eller College .
New jobs contributed to local business growth, including the future Amazon facility and Raytheon expansion.
Lea Marquez Peterson recently stepped away from her role as president of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She's been instrumental in helping struggling businesses over the past several years, so seeing the new numbers out of Eller remains a good sign.
"Tucson is seeing some of the fastest growth it's had, in GDP growth, since 2006, and that's really encouraging. And you can see that in a lot of the growth and new businesses that have come to town. So, I think things are really looking optimistic," Marquez Peterson said.
Rebounding from the recession was long and slow in the Old Pueblo , compared to other cities, like Phoenix. In October, economists declared Tucson finally recovered.
According to the Eller College, those 12,000 jobs added over the year equals 3.1% growth, almost double the national rate.
Marquez Peterson says Tucson's on the right track.
"I serve on the United States Hispanic Chamber board with people from all over the country, and I think they're also seeing that very positive and steady growth across the nation," Marquez Peterson said.
Making Action Possible for Southern Arizona is an interactive website that tracks and compares economic trends, such as job growth and average income, to other cities. See how Tucson compares here .