Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Job Creation in Tucson: Building a Sustainable Future– PDA meeting tonight

Progressive Democrats of America

Progressive Democrats of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Spetember 2011, unemployment decreased in 75% of US cities — including Tucson– according to recent statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From CBS Money Watch

The Labor Department said Wednesday [Nov. 2, 2011] that unemployment rates fell in 280 large metro areas from August to September. They rose in 61 and were unchanged in 31. That’s the largest number of cities to see a decline since April.

Nationwide, employers added a net 103,000 jobs in September. And the [nationwide] unemployment rate was 9.1 percent for the third straight month. The job gains were only about enough to keep up with population growth. The economy needs to generate at least twice September’s total to reduce the unemployment rate.

According to the Labor report, Tucson’s unemployment rate was 8.0% in September 2011 (down from 8.9% in September 2010). The Labor report also shows that– compared to a year ago– Tucson’s workforce is shrinking (492,600 vs 489,600) along with the number (44,000 vs 39,000) and percentage of unemployed (8.9% vs 8.0%).

Nationwide, Tucson doesn’t have the highest unemployment rate (29.6% in El Centro, Calif., followed closely by Yuma at 27%) or the lowest unemployment rate (Bismark, ND at 2.5%). But if you’re unemployed, it still sucks. (Been there.)

With the local unemployment rate shrinking and the total workforce also shrinking, this begs the question: Are more pepople employed locally or did the unemployment rate go down because people left town or dropped out of the workforce?

A recent article in the Arizona Daily Star gives us a hint: One in eight apartments or homes in Pima County is vacant. In 2000, 9.4% of housing units in the county were vacant, compared with 12% in 2010. From the Star

While many homes are vacant because the former owners couldn’t afford them and were forced out, the rental market also has been hit hard because many of its low-income occupants left the area in the wake of the housing bust. New residents are also not coming from other states – as they did for decades – because the area’s economy has slowed to a crawl.

When looking at the local economic picture, the poverty rate must also be addressed. Tucson’s poverty rate is 23.4%, compared to 16.5% statewide. According to an article in the Tucson Weekly, Tucson has been “ahead of the poverty curve” for years.

In the recent election, mayoral and City Council candidates talked a lot about job creation and cutting fees for small businesses to jump start the local economy.

Now that the election is over, where do we go from here?

Tonight, November 10, 2011, Progressive Democrats of America Tucson Chapter is hosting a panel discussion focusing on job creation. Among the presenters will be US Rep. Raul Grijalva. Job Creation in Tucson: Building a Sustainable Future will be held at the Hotel Tucson City Center from 7-9 p.m., $5 donation at the door.

Come hear new ideas and join this public discussion. For more information regarding speakers, check out PDA Tucson’s facebook page.

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2011 by in Arizona, Progressive Democrats of America, Raul Grijalva, Tucson and tagged , , .

About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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