graphicTucson is one of the few U.S. cities its size that can boast of a symphony, ballet, opera and live theater company. The University of Arizona remains the largest single employer with more than 10,000 employees, while Davis-Monthan AFB employs over 8,000 and infuses over $680 million each year into the local economy.

graphicTourism is an important source of income, contributing over $1.8 billion to the Pima County economy in the past year, and continues to be a major part of the economic base producing some 40,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment in metropolitan Tucson has more than doubled in the past 10 years. This growth is due to the increase of high technology manufacturers locating and expanding in Pima County. These manufacturers include Texas Instruments, Bombardier, Honeywell, SlimFast, and Raytheon Missile Systems Co.

Tucson is world renowned for development of its seven "high-tech clusters," which include Optics, Teleservices, Aerospace, Plastics, Information Technology, Environmental Science, and Biotechnology.

graphicgraphicThe area was recently dubbed "Optics Valley," and continues to draw these types of firms due in part to the University of Arizona’s Optical Sciences Center, as well as the University’s Science & Technology Park.

Some of the employers who have recently relocated to the Tucson area include: Plastics Molding Corp.; SlimFast; Chenga Fwa; Aristocrat, Inc.; Walbro Engine; Cricket Communications; and, Card Management Corp.


Current Pima County unemployment levels are still among the lowest recorded in the last 30 years. Arizona had the nation’s highest economic growth during the past decade. During 2000, Arizona was the fastest growing state for employment. Tucson was the most rapidly growing area in the United States for the first half of 2000, and second of all metro areas in annual growth rate of employment. Only four counties larger than Pima grew more rapidly between 1990-1999. Tucson added about 20,000 jobs in 1999-2000. For the next five years, Tucson is projected to be the 13th most rapidly growing metro area for employment.

January, 2001 Employment Figures:

• Civilian Labor Force: 387,600 (-2.4% from December of 2000)
• Total Employment: 376,100 (-2.8% from December of 2000)
• Unemployment Rates: Pima County = 3.0%;
Arizona = 3.9%; U.S. = 4.2%




Wage & Salary 370,100 3.2
Manufacturing 37,300 9.4
Mining 1800 2.7
Construction 22,300 0.4
T.C.P.U.* 13,200 0.5
Trade 77,900


F.I.R.E. 14,500 3.5
Services 123,600 3.3
Government 79,600


*Transportation, Communications, and Public Utilities

**Source: Economic & Business Research Program, College of Business & Public Administration, Univ. of Arizona, February of 2001
For more information on Industrial Recruitment contact the Greater Tucson Economic Council.



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