“Future is Bright” in Post-Pandemic Economy for Arizona’s Professional Services Industry
June 14, 2021
As the economy continues to recover from the height of the pandemic-generated recession, Alliance Bank of Arizona hosted a virtual 2021 Economic Forum that specifically zeroed in on the economic trends and developments affecting one of Arizona’s largest economic sectors, Professional and Business Services.
Prominent keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, a leading independent economic research and consulting firm, provided in-depth analysis of how the past year has affected the economy and provided a glimpse into what Arizona’s professional community can expect over the short- and long-term.
The message: The sector’s future is bright in Arizona as it continues to be a beacon of growth.
While Arizona has been a leading source for job growth in the nation in the last decade. Professional and Business Services has been one of the sectors driving the strongest growth in the state; since first quarter of 2010, private employment in Professional and Business Services has expanded by 24.9%, outpacing the nation (21.4%). High-wage Professional and Business Services sectors drove much growth; in the same timeframe, Professional and Technical Services expanded by 33.4%, Management of Companies and Enterprises expanded by 27.6%, and Administrative and Waste Services expanded by 19.4%.
From legal services and accounting to architecture, engineering and consulting, these sectors have been resilient during COVID. From third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020, Professional and Technical Services in Arizona declined by just 1.0%, compared to a 4.9% decline across all industries in the state. Interestingly, the COVID economy expanded certain areas of the sector, including Legal Services (1.2%), Accounting and Bookkeeping Services (3.1%), Management and Technical Consulting Services (3.1%), and Scientific Research and Development Services (2.8%). In the same vein, the Management of Companies and Enterprises sector in Arizona expanded by 4.7%, which bucked decline trends in California (-6.2%), Nevada (-16.4%), and the nation (-5.1%).
Ultimately, job losses in high-wage sectors have been minimal. And as the economy continues its upward trajectory, Dr. Thornberg anticipates further measured growth of a segment of the economy that has been historically known for its strength and ability to be buoyant during challenging times.