Originally Published: January 4, 2015 6 a.m.
With the dawn of the new year and a sense of economic recovery resonating across our local marketplace, how exactly has Yavapai County fared over the past five years? Though Yavapai County was hit just as hard as any other community, economists have noted that Arizona as a state, and rural communities in particular, are recovering at a slower rate than urban areas. Economically speaking, this is to be expected, given the capacity of metropolitan cities to have existing variables of production (infrastructure, telecommunications, labor markets, logistics) that enable a faster pace of economic recovery.
That said, 2008 was a game-changer for rural communities. It evened the playing field by bringing urban and rural economic engines to the same RPM, so to speak. Companies looking to expand or move are now seeking different variables to ensure a resilient business environment. Entrepreneurs are seeking a communities that offer a wide range of work/live/play factors and that are attentive to land, labor, and capital needs for production.
At the height of inflation in 2007, Yavapai County had 76,021 jobs. By the time the effects of the economic downturn in 2008 took place in 2010, Yavapai County had 64,203 jobs.
In 2009, there were approximately 9,456 unemployed county residents (around 10 percent unemployment rate). In mid-2014, approximately 5,513 residents in the county were unemployed, with an unemployment rate in November of 6.3 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, showing that economic conditions in Yavapai County continue to improve.
Average earnings in 2007 were $37,500. In 2010 average earnings were $38,100, and in 2014, county earnings hit $40,400, reflecting an economy that, through strife, has maintained a relatively decent rate of inflation.
Yavapai County can look towards 2015 with optimism and opportunity in hand By continuing to work together through regional economic organizations and across city and town lines, Yavapai County will ensure a fruitful and resilient economy that benefits all sectors of the community.
The Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center provides analysis and services that facilitate economic development throughout Yavapai County and build wealth in our local communities.