Economists forecast 'choppy waters' as Arizona recovers from COVID-19

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Posted at 9:49 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 12:50:48-04

PHOENIX — The COVID-19 pandemic is easing in Arizona, with daily reported cases down significantly from a peak in January, but the effects of the pandemic — social, personal, economic and otherwise — are still materializing.

On Thursday, economists from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management presented a forecast for the state’s recovery with the broad theme of unevenness; Some places will recover quicker, as will some industries and individuals.

George Hammond, director and research professor at Eller's Economic and Business Research Center, said Arizona is still down 94,800 jobs from pre-pandemic levels, and it will be months before they are recovered.

“Uncertainty still matters, but upside risks are rising,” Hammond said over Zoom on Thursday. “What I mean by that is that we may in fact do better than expected under the baseline, particularly over the next year or so.”

The baseline projection is that the state will hit pre-pandemic levels of employment by the first quarter of next year, with an optimistic alternative suggesting it could come as soon as the end of this year and a pessimistic alternative suggesting it may take until Q3 2022.

Read the full article at Phoenix Business Journal.