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Economist: Arizona can expect slight uptick in 2014

PHOENIX -- Arizona is still a few years away from a full economic recovery, but the state should see a small uptick next year, an Arizona State University professor said.

Director of the JP Morgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business Lee McPheters said Arizona ranks seventh nationally in job growth, up from 49th in 2010. That growth is giving him a good feeling about next year.

"You look at finance, wholesale trade and construction."

McPheters said personal income is expected to grow from 4 percent next year to 5.5 percent next year.

However, it's not all good news. Arizona's unemployment rate seems stuck at 8 percent.

"Arizona's unemployment is the same right now as it was last year at this time and that shows we're not making a lot of progress on that front," McPheters said.

Arizona has had seven years of subpar growth and McPheters sees 2014 adding to that trend.

The state has regained 46 percent of the jobs lost in the recession but still has 170,000 jobs to replace.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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