SAEconomics.com is a project of Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group (SAEDG)
Graham County's population as of Census 2020 was 38,533, up 3.5% from 2010. Graham County's population is projected to reach 40,384 in 2025 and 48,858 by 2055, according to pre-Census 2020 projections by Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Graham County's unemployment rate in 2021 was 4.1% (down from 6.2% in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic). At the peak of COVID business closures, the unemployment rate in Graham County hit a high of 8.1% in June 2020. Graham County’s unemployment rate of 4.1% in 2021 was lower than the statewide rate of 4.9% and the nationwide rate of 5.3%.
NONFARM PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT: Graham County gained 225 jobs in 2021 for annual job growth of 2.4%. All of the job gains were in the private sector (3.4%), while government employment numbers held steady from 2020 to 2021. In the private sector, goods-producing jobs stabilized while service jobs grew by 225 (4.7%) in 2021.
Note: Labor force, employment, unemployment, and jobs data on this page are updated annually. For the most recent monthly labor market data, visit Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
PERSONAL INCOME: In 2020, Graham County had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $35,072. This PCPI ranked 15th in the state and was 71% of the state average, $49,648, and 59% of the national average, $59,510. The 2020 PCPI reflected an increase of 12.5% from 2019. The 2019-2020 state change was 8.4% and the national change was 6.2%. In 2010, the PCPI of Graham County was $24,503 and ranked 14th in the state. The 2010-2020 compound annual growth rate of PCPI was 3.7%. The compound annual growth rate for the state was 3.9% and for the nation was 3.9%.
WAGES: The average annual wage in Graham County in 2020 was $45,997 ($22.11 hourly), which was 86% of the Arizona statewide average wage of $53,396 ($25.67 hourly) and 82% of the national average wage of $56,310 ($27.07 hourly).
MAJOR INDUSTRY SALES: In 2021, Graham County's retail sales were up 9.8%, while restaurant & bar sales were up 18.1%. Hotel/motel receipts in Graham and Greenlee counties combined were up 18.9 in 2021, following a COVID-related decline of 25.1% in 2020.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: In 2020, Graham County produced $1,197,378 in current-dollar total GDP*. This GDP ranked 14th in the state and accounted for 0.3% of the state total. In 2010, the total GDP of Graham County was $712,189 and ranked 14th in the state. In 2020, Graham County real GDP grew 3.7%; the 2019-2020 state change was -1.0%. The 2010-2020 compound annual growth rate for Graham County real GDP was 2.7%; the compound annual growth rate for the state was 2.1%.
*GDP estimates are in thousands of dollars.
In March 2022, the median price of homes sold in Graham County was $256,500, according to National Association of Realtors. That was up 35.0% from March 2021. The median days on market in March was 41, down from 136 in March 2021. As of May 2022, there were 208 homes listed for sale in Graham County, up from 119 in June 2021 (Graham County, AZ Real Estate Market). In 2020, there were 187 building permits issued for new homes in Graham County.
In 2021, visits to Roper Lake State Park in Graham County were down 11.2% after increasing 21.7% in 2020.
According to research by Dean Runyan Associates for Arizona Office of Tourism, Graham and Greenlee County's combined travel industry (including business and leisure travel in both counties) generated $80.4 million in direct spending in 2021, up 65.9% following a 43% COVID-related decline in 2020. Graham and Greenlee County's travel industry supported 910 jobs between the two counties in 2021 (up 10.8% after a 19.1% drop the year prior) with associated household earnings of $18.3 million (up 13% after declining 7.1% the previous year).
In 2021, bank deposits in Graham County (as of June 30) were up 3.4% from 2020. That was on the heels of 43.7% growth the year prior - its fastest rate of increase since 2006. Deposits in 2020 and 2021 were helped along by COVID stimulus payments.