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Business Climate in Tucson

With  such  industry  leaders  as  Raytheon  Missile  Systems,  IBM, Honeywell,  Texas  Instruments,  Intuit  and Bombardier Aerospace, it’s clear that Tucson has made a name for itself as a great place to grow a business.  In  just  2010,  Tucson has  welcomed a  new  Target fulfillment  center,  a Ritz-Carlton,  the UA Tech Park  and  the “Solar Zone”, all employing more than 7,000 people and boosting the economy.



Recent studies on economic indicators in Tucson show a small, but positive growth in personal income of about .5%, which is still better than the overall growth seen nationwide –good news for those who are relocating.  While the Old Pueblo unemployment rate has  been hit hard by challenging economic times, it has fared better than the rest of the country, and, is steadfastly recovering with strong opportunities in various job sectors. And,  in  industry  job  growth  news,  experts  report  that health  care  is  gaining  about  1,000  jobs  each  month statewide –and that’s great news for those in that field!



People and businesses from around the country and even internationally continue to drift towards and settle in Tucson. Besides the city’s beautiful and scenic surroundings, Tucson’s cost of living is still less than many major cities.  According to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, Tucson has  a composite index of 95.7 (as  of 1Q 2012), making it about  4%  less  that  the  national  average–a very  affordable  place to  live  compared to  the  rest  of the  state and with metro areas of similar size. Because  Tucson  has  remained  an  affordable  place  to  live  and work,  growth  in  the  greater  Tucson  region  has remained fairly  steady,  offering  a  variety  of employment  opportunities,  lower  cost  of  living and easy  access  to larger metropolitan areas. Pima  County’s  population  grew  an  average  of  some  3,400  annually  between 2001  to  2010,  with  the Tucson metro  area  in  particular  spawning suburbs  and  growing  communities. Today,  Tucson  has  a  metropolitan  area population of just over 1,000,000, and the city itself is home to more than 580,000.



Travel and tourism are big in Tucson, and it’s the metro travel industry that has contributed significantly to the city’s economy with the new spending it attracts and the jobs it supports. The Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that out-of-town travelers help support close to 28,000 local jobs! The travel and tourism industry also generates close to $2.4 billion in economic impact to the region, attracting more than four million overnight visitors each year and making it one of the area’s top economic drivers. Tucson’s scenic desert terrain and outdoor-friendly weather also attracts competitors from all over the world for major sporting events, including the La Fiesta do los Vaqueros Rodeo –an eight-day competitive rodeo festival –and the El Tour de Tucson Bicycle Race. And,  because  of  its  proximity  to  Mexico,  Tucson  has  become  more  involved  in  international  trade,  developing close  partnerships  with  the  country,  along  with  enjoying almost $980  million  in  travel  spending  from  their neighbors down south.

The city and its officials have encouraged the growth of twin-plant or “maquiladora” industries that locate part of their operations in Tucson. Tucson  is  also  working  toward  increased  expansion  in  manufacturing,  including  electronics,  aerospace,  and computer component products


Tucson also has a growing high-tech industry environment, with roughly 1,200 companies that have some type of  IT  component  in  the  region.  The  industry  employs  about 50,000  and  produces  about  $4  billion  in  annual revenues. While more than 300 local companies are directly involved in information technology, other growing tech areas include bio-industry/biotech, aerospace, environmental technology, plastics and advanced composite materials, and teleservices. Top  technology  employers  in  Tucson  include  such  nationally  known  companies  as  Raytheon  Missile  Systems, IBM, Honeywell, Texas Instruments and Intuit, plus many smaller companies. Tucson is also a manufacturing hub for technology, with activity in this area nearly doubling in the last 10 years because of the city’s active promotion of expansion and growth in the industry. Tucson companies in this space  include  such  nationally  known  companies  Honeywell,  Weiser Lock,  3M,  Burr-Brown,  IBM,  Environmental  Air Products, Inc., Krueger Industries, Inc., and Raytheon Missile Systems. With   the creation  and  expansion   of   the  Tucson   Tech   Corridor,  opportunities  abound  for   new   high-tech entrepreneurs.  Paired with low cost of doing business, affordable home prices, a fair tax structure and a lower overall cost of living, it’s clear that Tucson is a great place for business – whether you’re coming here for work, or to start a new venture.


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