Arizona's Workforce Is Shrinking Since Recession

November 25, 2013

A state economist said Arizona’s labor force is shrinking ever since the recession ended. Aruna Murthy of the Department of Administration said the labor force has gone from 3.1 million in 2008 to 2.9 million this year. She said the downward trend has been underway since the end of the recession.

 “My hunch was people are retiring, and that’s what was causing decline in labor force.  In fact we found on the contrary, we found that people were staying in the labor force longer," said Murthy.

Murthy said a study of the reasons behind the decline found older people were staying in the labor force longer. Another factor is the aging of people in their 40’s who are now becoming part of the higher-age category. Murthy said in addition fewer young people are getting into the work force, and she said the decline in the workforce in Arizona has been steeper than in other places.