Welcome to Tucson, the county seat of Pima County and one of America’s fastest-growing cities. Tucson is situated on a high valley floor at an elevation of about 2,400 feet. The city is surrounded by five mountain ranges. To the north is the Santa Catalinas; to the south are the Santa Ritas and the Sierritas. The Rincon Mountains are east of Tucson, and the Tucson Mountains are to the west.
The Tucson metropolitan area’s population is approximately 1 million. The city of Tucson covers an area of more than 225 square miles, while metropolitan Tucson extends for nearly 500 square miles. The official city of Tucson website is www.tucsonaz.gov.
Tucson is one of the sunniest cities in the United States. There are more than 350 days of sunshine each year. Because of the city’s elevation, temperatures are generally mild.
The average high temperature in June is 101 degrees, with an average low of 72 degrees. In December, the average high temperature is 66 degrees and the average low is 41 degrees. This sunny climate — along with an average rainfall of only 11 inches — makes Tucson the ideal place to live for playing tennis, golfing, biking, hiking and many more outdoor recreational activities.
Although Tucson rarely experiences snow, it does have winter. Temperatures can drop into the 30s on winter mornings, so Tucsonans sometimes do need winter coats.
ECONOMY AND EMPLOYMENT
- University of Arizona — 11,251 employees
- Raytheon Missile Systems — 9,600 employees
- State of Arizona — 8,580 employees
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — 8,406 employees
- Pima County — 7,060 employees
- Tucson Unified School District — 6,770 employees
- Banner-University Medicine – 6,272 employees
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection — 5,739 employees
- Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (mining) — 5,530 employees
- Walmart Inc. — 5,500 employees
- Fort Huachuca — 5,477 employees
- City of Tucson — 4,595 employees
- Tohono O’odham Nation — 4,350 employees
- Carondelet Health Network — 3,860 employees
- TMC HealthCare — 3,162 employees
Source: Pima County Economic Development Plan, 2018
In March 2018, the city’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, below Arizona’s unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. According to Pima County Community and Economic Development, the largest single private employer in Tucson, with nearly 10,000 employees, is Raytheon Missile Systems. The University of Arizona, with about 11,000 workers, is the top public employer in the region. Other major employers include the state of Arizona, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Pima County, the Tucson Unified School District and Banner-University Medicine. Major industries in the area include education, health care and social assistance; arts, entertainment, food and recreation services; retail; and professional, scientific and administrative services.
Exporting sunshine — tourism — is one of the community’s major economic factors, and it contributes lavishly to the Tucson economy. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, Tucson and the southern region had 6 million domestic overnight visitors in 2016. The $3.3 billion spent by tourists not only supports jobs in the state, but also generates tax revenue.
Due to its clear air and the absence of large-scale urban night lighting, Tucson also is a major international center for stellar research. By providing top-flight research facilities and attracting top-notch scientists into the area, Tucson’s astronomy research programs are also contributing to the exhilarating expansion of its economic base.
For more information on the economy in Tucson, visit the Tucson Metro Chamber at www.tucsonchamber.org or call 520-792-1212.
Tucson has two large daily newspapers: The Arizona Daily Star (www.tucson.com) and the Daily Territorial (www.dailyterritorial.com ), the official newspaper for Pima County government public notices. Inside Tucson Business (www.insidetucsonbusiness.com) is the city’s business newspaper.
There are 10 Tucson television stations and more than 20 radio stations.