PHOENIX — It won’t match the boom years of the last decade.
But a new report predicts Arizona will add 60,900 jobs this coming year, enough for a somewhat respectable 2.5 percent growth.
Aruna Murthy, director of economic analysis, said Thursday that several things are driving her prediction of a 2.5 percent year-over-year increase in employment. One is anticipated strong growth in the number of people working at doctors’ offices, hospitals and emergency care centers.
“Arizona’s population is growing, even if it’s growing at a slower rate,’’ she said.
“A lot of the Baby Boomer generation are getting old,’’ Murthy said. “They will all need health services.’’
Murthy also forecasts higher employment by hotels, bars and restaurants. She figures that an improving economy nationwide will lead to more tourism.
What also will help, Murthy said, are lower home mortgage interest rates.
“People have taken advantage of refinancing, thereby bringing down their monthly payment,’’ she said. What that ultimately means, she said, is “more money to spend for other goods and services.’’
And Murthy said there’s a sort of feedback effect of job growth that also will boost consumer spending and, by extension, retail trade employment.
“Essentially, with people gaining jobs, they have more money to spend,’’ she said. “And that’s being reflected in the economy to a certain extent.’’