fbpx
The Regional. GPEC blog image header.

Blog

Greater Phoenix is a young region with a rich history. These pivotal moments created expansive growth and opportunity.

Greater Phoenix timeline

Greater Phoenix is a young region with a rich history. These pivotal moments created expansive growth and opportunity.

A growth market with cyclical patterns:

1950-1970s:

A GROWING REGION
From 1950-1970 the population of Greater Phoenix grew by 347%. The post-world war industry growth was driven by military base realignment and aerospace and defense company growth. The microelectronics cluster has been shaping the Greater Phoenix economy since 1949 when Motorola first opened a facility in the region. As Motorola invested in a variety of electronics manufacturing capabilities, Phoenix became a prime location for these activities.

1958:

PROP 200
Arizona State University (then called Arizona State College) received university status through passing of Prop 200 by Arizona voters. The School of Engineering is established.

1960:

COMMUNITY COLLEGE ESTABLISHED
In the early 1960s, the Arizona Legislature and Maricopa County voters established and approved the college system, known then as the Maricopa County Junior College District. Branch campuses were established in Glendale and Mesa, eventually becoming independent junior colleges, with Estrella Mountain Community College and more to follow.

1980:

INTEL EXPANDS TO CHANDLER
In 1980 Chandler city officials helped Intel secure building permits that resulted in their further expansion in Greater Phoenix.

1980s:

LOCAL WATER MANAGEMENT + NATIONAL CRISIS
From 1980 to 1990 the population of Greater Phoenix grew by 48%. The 1980 Groundwater Management Act paved the way for managing the state’s groundwater resources in a burgeoning economy. A recession, real-estate downturn and loose investment practices all contributed to the Savings & Loan Crisis.

1987:

THE PEIRCE REPORT
The Peirce Report concurred that the community was the “premier growth region of western America,” but cited deteriorating air quality, increasing traffic congestion, lessening of open space, burgeoning student enrollment that strain school systems and a lack of civic involvement, identity and pride.

1988:

BARRON’S ARTICLE
This article warned of an impending real-estate and thrift bust–the most significant economic development event to hit Greater Phoenix. Prior to this article, civic leaders were slow to see the dangers. Then Mayor Terry Goddard called for an “Emergency Economic Development Summit” and a new regional organization would be created.

1989:

GREATER PHOENIX ECONOMIC COUNCIL
As a result of the momentum from the Barron’s article, GPEC was formed. Original GPEC Charter: A public purpose, non-profit organization, GPEC joined eight cities, the private sector, the region’s three major educational institutions and organized labor, in a collaborative effort to promote economic development for the region.

1990s:

GREATER PHOENIX GROWTH
From 1990 to 2000 the population of Greater Phoenix grew by 46% and GDP grew by 103%. Throughout 1990s, a number of individual income tax cuts were made that led to significant revenue impacts to the state of Arizona.

1994:

ASU DISTINCTION
Arizona State University classified as a Research I university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

1995 – 2000:

DOT.COM BUBBLE
From the mid-1990s to 2001, the new Internet sector, along with its related high-tech industries, grew rapidly. Stock markets, such as the NASDAQ experienced huge run-ups in stock prices. In March 2000, the NASDAQ reached a peak of 5,132.52. By December 2000, the NASDAQ had dropped by more than 50 percent and stood below 2,500.

1996:

MOTOROLA CLOSING
Less than a year after opening the $325 million facility with fanfare, Motorola shut down its Com 1 wafer manufacturing plant, the latest casualty of a longer-than-expected ebb in semiconductor demand.

2000s:

CONTINUED GROWTH AND CRISIS
From 2000 to 2010 the population of Greater Phoenix grew by 29%. Major economic swings occurred during this decade as the market reeled from 9/11 attacks and global economic slowdown that followed. The World Bank said world trade was likely to grow by less than 2 percent in 2001, compared with 13 percent the previous year.

2004-2007:

REGIONAL MEGA GROWTH
With confidence riding high on the back of seemingly solid fundamentals and rising asset prices, along with easy access to credit, Arizona households borrowed heavily. Per capita debt accumulation surged in the mid-2000s to levels far in excess of the national average.

2007:

REAL ESTATE CRASH / RECESSION
Overbuilding, the subprime mortgage scandal and other problems precipitated a severe slump in Arizona real estate. Beginning in 2007, tens of thousands of Arizonans lost their homes, values fell by half in many cases, construction jobs dried up and local banks failed. As a result of the recession, Greater Phoenix lost 300,400 jobs. Of that job loss, the construction industry alone lost 74,900 or about 47% of the total construction labor force.

2010:

RECESSION RECOVERY
While some parts of the country began rebounding from the recession in 2009, Arizona’s recovery period started in 2010. The state’s recovery was one of the longest in its history – more than four times longer than the previous recessions. It took the state around four months and nine months, respectively, to recover from the previous two recessions, but it took around 35 months from this recession.

2010:

SB1070
The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (Arizona Senate Bill 1070) was the broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration measure passed in Arizona. It received national and international attention and spurred considerable controversy. The boycotts across Arizona perpetuated the intensity of the recession.

2011:

AZ COMPETITIVENESS PACKAGE
AZ Competitiveness Package led by then House Speaker Adams aggressively put AZ on the map for base industry and technology growth and formation of the Arizona Commerce Authority.

2013:

FEDERAL BUDGET SEQUESTRATION
Defense contracts awarded in Arizona fell by $1.7 billion between 2012 and 2013, buffeted by the federal budget sequestration, a drawdown of U.S. military commitments and a sluggish economic recovery. The GPEC Aerospace and Defense report showed that Greater Phoenix plays a major role in the national defense footprint with 5.2% of the state’s GDP being dependent on federal defense funding and Arizona ranked a top 10 state for defense contracts.

2016:

Achieve60AZ
The goal of Achieve60AZ is to help generate greater public and private awareness, ownership and support for the long-term steps needed in college entry and completion, adult education and training, and identifying and closing skills gaps to better prepare our workforce and our state for the future.

2016:

PARTNERSHIP FOR ECONOMIC INNOVATION (PEI)
PEI launched with the mission to transform Greater Phoenix into a top global market for innovation & technology, fueled by world-class research institutes, advanced industries, and high tech entrepreneurs.

2017:

INTEL EXPANSION
Intel in Arizona announced it will bring 3,000 more workers to Chandler and invest $7 billion in completion of their new fab.

2017:

INNOVATIVE UNIVERSITY
For the third year in a row, Arizona State University tops the list of “most innovative schools” in the nation, surpassing Stanford and MIT. This honor recognizes the university’s groundbreaking initiatives, partnerships, programs and research.

2018:

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
More people voted in the 2018 August primary than in any other primary in Arizona history.