Tucson has grown far beyond the typical Four Cs of the Arizona economy: cattle, cotton, copper, and climate. A shining example of a New West city, Tucson is also home to cutting-edge industries, such as plastics, optics, aerospace, environmental technology, bioindustry, and teleservices. With the strategic involvement of the University of Arizona and local and state government, Tucson has moved ahead of larger and more populous cities to become a leader in high-tech industry. Tucsons proximity to Mexico also makes it a natural gateway for business with growing markets in Latin America.
Unemployment rates in Pima County and Tucson are historically far below national rates. In September 2000, Tucson was second of all metro areas in annual growth rate of employment and in 1999-2000, Tucson added about 20,000 jobs. The city is projected to be the 13th most rapidly growing metro area for employment.
The University of Arizona and Raytheon Missile Systems are two of the largest employers in Tucson. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is another with more than 8,700 military and civilian employees.
Sources: The Arizona Daily Star, Greater Tucson Economic Council
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