Copper remains strong part of Ariz. economy – by Tony Davis (Arizona Daily Star – April 28, 2013)

The Legacy of Copper Mining in Arizona Documentary

“Arizona produces more copper than any other state. This brief history shows how Arizona’s copper mining built a state and changed a nation. This documentary was sponsored by ASU, Daniel Buckley, Freeport McMoRan, Intel, Channel 8, and Resolution Copper Company and was presented to the Arizona Mining Alliance and American Copper Council in May of 2012.”

Salaries in Arizona’s mines are more than twice those for the average job, says a new mining industry-financed report. When benefits are included, the average worker in the mining industry earned $108,000 a year as of 2011, says the report from Kent Hill, a research professor in economics at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

The average pay and benefits for people working in mining-related jobs not directly in the industry, such as suppliers, is $80,000, he reports. The average for all Arizona workers, including benefits, is about $47,000, he says.

The report also says that the mining industry remains a significant force in Arizona’s economy, although the percentage of statewide jobs in the mining industry has dropped from 25 percent a century ago to 1.5 percent by 2011.

“The economy is now so diverse, very few narrowly-defined industries account for more than a few percentage points of total employment,” Hill said in an email to the Star. “Copper mining directly employs around 10,000 people. Compare this with, say, semiconductor production which employs around 18,000 people or the air transportation industry with 14,000 workers.”

The study, called “The Economic Impact of the Mining Industry on the State of Arizona,” is done annually by ASU’s L. William Seidman Research institute. It was financed by the Arizona Mining Association, an industry trade and advocacy group. ASU has replaced George Leaming’s Western Economic Analysis center in Marana in conducting these studies. Leaming did them through 2010.

The new report also says:

• Considering mining jobs and other jobs related to mining, all 2011 mining activity provided an estimated 49,800 Arizona jobs and labor income of $3.24 billion. The related effects, also known as indirect impacts, include purchases of goods and services by mining industry suppliers, consumer spending by all employees connected to the industry, and local and state government spending of tax revenues generated by the industry.

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