Arizona’s people are smart, hard-working and ambitious, and our state is blessed with both the spirit and resources to create strong economic opportunities for our citizens. But we’re falling short of our potential.
A recent 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). Our job growth is falling below the country’s overall pace, and we saw only half the job gains in 2016 that we did in 2015.
It’s time we delivered on Arizona’s promise. We must create the right business conditions and make smart, targeted investments. Failure to do so will only see our brightest young people move to other states to fulfill their dreams.
Arizona should be the global leader in alternative energy research and production—particularly solar power. I’m committed to working with both the private sector and our local economic development organizations to seek out companies who will bring these kinds of 21st century jobs to our communities. With our educated workforces and track record of attracting high tech businesses, Chandler and Gilbert are well-positioned to play host to these kinds of companies.
We need to do more to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. I’ll work to provide start-ups and small companies with better access to capital so they can grow. I’ll continue to keep taxes as low as possible. And I’ll work hard to make sure government doesn’t impose burdensome regulations that inhibit growth. Of course, we must do so in ways that don’t endanger the health and safety of our citizens.
Today, about 41% of our state’s manufacturing exports head to Mexico. But if, as many expect, we engage in a trade war with our southern neighbors, those exports will be in jeopardy. We must diversify our export markets and attract investment from other parts of the world—including high growth regions like Asia. Doing so will help us withstand future economic shocks more effectively.