Arizona Drops In Aerospace Manufacturing Ranking

Published: Monday, August 5, 2019 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, August 5, 2019 - 10:28am

For the third-straight year, Arizona’s ranking for aerospace manufacturing has dropped.

PwC, the accounting and research firm formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, has compiled annual ranking for six years. In 2016, Arizona was ranked first among states. In 2017, Arizona ranked third; in 2018 it ranked fourth; and in 2019 it ranked ninth.

Scott Thompson, U.S. aerospace and defense leader, oversees the report. It ranks a state’s aerospace attractiveness to businesses across six categories: labor, infrastructure, industry, economy, cost and tax policy.

While the categories remain consistent, Thompson said the methodology changes.

“We’re constantly seeking feedback and trying to find the best metrics to do to use this analysis.Another thing is some of the metrics that we use go out of publication and we have to find similar metrics to support that," Thompson said. 

He said relatively small changes in data can alter rankings. “I would say that Arizona is a consistent top 10 performer and when you look at the top 10, there are very narrow differences-all these states are very competitive and there are very narrow difference between the states," Thompson said. 

While Arizona ranks ninth overall in the 2019 report, the state’s lowest category ranking was labor at 25. Labor consists of the labor force, the percentage of people over 25 who have completed high school, the percentage of people over 25 who have completed a bachelor’s degree, the percentage of people over 25 who have completed an advanced degree, and union membership rates.

Tucson is home to Raytheon, which makes missiles, while Boeing has a large presence in Mesa, and Honeywell’s global headquarters are in Phoenix.

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