Fort Huachuca (an active U.S. Army installation located in Cochise County) is the largest employer in Southeast Arizona. The fort develops and tests command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities; delivers intelligence and unmanned aircraft systems training and education; designs, develops and integrates intelligence capabilities, concepts and doctrine; and provides world class quality support services to the Huachuca community to enable mission command in support of Army and joint operations and the continued evolution of Fort Huachuca.
As of 2019, approximately 2,300 active duty military personnel were assigned to Fort Huachuca. There are also approximately 2,700 trainees (students) temporarily assigned for training on any given day (with more than 8,000 trained on site each year). Fort Huachuca directly employs approximately 2,700 civilian workers with an additional 400 employed by other agencies operating on the installation. The fort also contracts with numerous area firms employing several thousand workers.
In 2017, The Maguire Company released its Economic Impact of Arizona’s Principal Military Operations report, which estimated the annual direct, indirect, and induced impact of Fort Huachuca on Cochise County at $2.9 billion. The employment impact was estimated at 21,327 jobs countywide with $999.2 million in associated earnings.
Freeport-McMoRan is the largest private-sector employer in Southeast Arizona, with active operations in Morenci (Greenlee County) and Safford (Graham County), along with historic operations in Bisbee (Cochise County).
According to Freeport, "Morenci is one of North America’s largest producers of copper and one of the largest open-pit mines in the world with great potential for growth and continued prosperity."
Safford is an open-pit copper mining complex Freeport describes as a "zero-discharge facility and one of the most environmentally advanced copper mines ever built." According to Freeport, "Growth and expansion opportunities are underway to extend the life of mine for Safford operations."
In recent years Bisbee-Douglas activities have included reclamation, soil remediation, sulfate mitigation, and support of community programs.
According to Freeport's annual economic impact statements, prepared by L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University, operations in southeast Arizona in 2019 generated an estimated $444.5 million economic impact (direct, indirect, and induced output). Freeport directly employed approximately 4,900 employees in southeast Arizona in 2019; adding in indirect and induced economic activity, Freeport operations supported more than 9,000 jobs in the region.
Economic Impact Statements