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AZ Week Notebook – March 2012

LATINOS IN AMERICA TODAY

Some facts and figures informing Friday's Arizona Week discussion of Latino progress in Arizona:

-- In 2010, Arizona's total population was 6,392,017, and of that, 29.6 percent, or 1,895,149, are Latino.

-- In employment, Latinos since the recession began in December 2007, the Mexican and Asian populations are actually experiencing the fastest growth rates in the United States. Latino employment rose from 19.5 million in 2009 to 20.7 million in 2011, an increase of 6.5%, says the Pew Hispanic Center. Latinos lost 473,000 jobs in the recession, but gained 1.3 million in the recovery.

--College-age Latinos account for 1.8 million, or 15% of total enrollment of 12.2 million in two- or four-year colleges nationally in 2010.

-- Arizona Latino voters preferred Pfresident Obama over Sen. John McCain by 56 percent to 41 percent in the 2008 presidential election, according to the NALEO Education Fund.

-- About 16 percent of Arizona's registered voters are Latino.

-- 351 Latinos hold elective office in Arizona, including two members of Congress.

Economics Hispanic Latino Politics education,

CHECKING IN ON LATINO PROGRESS

Cesar Chavez is considered not only a labor leader but the leader of a larger movement for Latino civil rights in the Southwest and throughout the country.

Saturday will mark his 85th birthday, and Arizona Week will use the occasion to focus on Latino progress in four key areas: politics, education, social issues and business/economics.

For a discussion of political progress, we will turn to Arizona Rep. Catherine Miranda, a Democrat who represents District 16 in southwestern Phoenix.

We are seeking interviews with representatives of education, social issues and business/economics, and we will provide an array of data and statistics about Latino demographics in Arizona.

Catherine Miranda Cesar Chavez Latinos,

'NEW NORMAL' IN AZ HOUSING MARKET?

Questions abound for those studying Arizona's residential real estate landscape.

When will it recover? What will it look like when it does recover? Will housing prices go up anytime soon? Can new home construction ever achieve what it once did in the state?

We will ask Michael Orr those questions and more. Orr is director of the Real Estate Center at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He's acknowledged as the leading analyst of real estate in Arizona.

Orr's recent report says the state should experience a "mild recovery" this year in homebuilding. That would come after what he called the "worst year ever for sales volume in 2011."

If you have a question for Orr, add it to the comments section below, and we will ask him for Friday's program.

Arizona State University Arizona home sales Michael Orr WP Carey School of Business real estate,

AZ HOUSING MARKET RISING, S-L-O-W-L-Y

Arizona Week will look into the state's housing market on Friday, including a review of the latest foreclosures report, residential real estate prices and other aspects of the beleaguered market.

The state has been among the worst nationally in foreclosures and the crash of the housing market, with the Phoenix metro area leading the way.

The Phoenix economy was underpinned for decades by growth and home construction. But the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 ended that and sent the market into a tailspin.

The January foreclosure report from RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., company that tracks real estate, foreclosures and other aspects of the residential market, showed nearly one in every 325 houses in Arizona was foreclosed upon. That was nearly 9,000 total foreclosures, including 5,987 in Maricopa County alone.

For Friday's program, we will talk with real estate specialists and others to gain a picture of the situation now and a look to the rest of the year.

Foreclosures RealtyTrac real estate,

ECONOMISTS AGREE: AZ REBOUNDING

Arizona Week Friday features three state economists all expressing optimism about the state's economy for the next couple of years. Watch here.

One says there won't be another recession, another says governmental incentives will begin to show their worth this year, and a third says she is optimistic but thinks the state has a ways to go in technology transfers and innovation.

On the program:

  • State Director of Economic Analysis Aruna Murthy.

  • Private-sector economist Jim Rounds.

  • University of Arizona research economist Lora Mwaniki-Lyman.

And journalists Jahna Berry, who covers the job market for the Arizona Republic, and Jeremy Duda, who covers the governor's office for the Arizona Capitol Times.

Arizona economy Aruna Murthy Jim Rounds Lora Mwaniki-Lyman,

WHENCE ARIZONA'S ECONOMY?

Both state and federal unemployment numbers come out this week -- state numbers for January on Thursday and federal numbers for February on Friday.

The national trend has been steady improvement, while Arizona's improving trend took a break in December, when the jobless figure stayed flat with November at 8.7 percent.

For Friday's Arizona Week program, we will look closely at the state numbers. On the program will be:

  • Aruna Murthy the state economist who oversees assembly of the report and will reveal the results at a Thursday news conference. Following it, we will interview her.

  • Jim Rounds, senior vice president and economist with Elliott D. Pollack and Co. of Scottsdale. He does economic analysis work for the new Arizona Commerce Authority and has advised it on the direction it should take in trying to grow quality jobs in Arizona.

Watch for their interviews and journalistic expert analysis Friday online and at 8:30 p.m. MST on PBS-HD6.

Aruna Murthy Jim Rounds unemployment statistics,

About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.