The University of Arizona. The University of Arizona
Agricultural & Resource Economics
Economic Contributions of Arizona’s Green Industry

Complete Publication (pdf format)

Executive Summary

What is Arizona’s ‘Green Industry’?
The Green Industry is defined as firms involved in the production, design, installation, maintenance and sale of plant products to enhance human environments. As such, the industry consists of three major components: landscape services, nursery/greenhouse production and distribution, and florists. This study covers only the landscape and nursery sectors.

Within landscape services, there are three basic activities: design, installation and maintenance. Within the nursery sector, there are also three basic activities: production of plant materials, wholesale distribution and retail distribution of nursery products. Production of plant materials includes field production, specialized rose and sod farms, and container and greenhouse production of plants. Unless otherwise noted, the retail nursery sector includes not only full service retail nurseries, but also the nursery and garden sections of major mass merchandisers, home improvement centers and chain stores. In the industry, production and wholesaling often go hand in hand. In this report, they will be considered together.

What was the Green Industry’s Contribution to the Arizona Economy in 1994?
The Green Industry is a growing part of agriculture, agricultural services, and trade as is reflected in the following list of contributions to the state economy:
–13,131 jobs
–$177 million in payroll
–$662 million in total sales
–$305 million in net receipts or value added to the state economy
–$18.8 million in taxes paid in Arizona
–$11.1 million in foreign exports
–$54.9 million in shipments to other states

In addition, 83% of the $240.6 million that Green Industry firms spent on materials and supplies, were spent in Arizona, along with $133.7 million of other non-wage expenditures

How has the Green Industry grown over time?
The Green Industry’s growth is closely tied to increases in population and subsequent increases in construction. Consequently, the Industry grew at a phenomenal rate during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Since 1987, growth in the industry has slowed, reflecting a general economic slow-down throughout the state in the early 1990’s, but both the general economy and the Green Industry’s growth are starting to pick up again. Part of the growth in the 1980’s was also fueled by corporate outsourcing of landscape services. In other words, many commercial establishments that previously would have retained landscape maintenance crews in-house began hiring outside landscape service firms to provide these services. Between 1974 and 1987, the industry increased fourfold in employment and eightfold in nominal payroll. Between 1987 and 1994, employment in the industry increased by 30% and payroll increased by 22%.

Nursery operations have apparently been successful at gaining market share from California competitors over the past two decades. However, retail nurseries appear to be losing market share to mass merchandisers and discount chains. Employment in retail nurseries declined between 1987 and 1992. However, total retail employment is still estimated to be increasing when garden sections of mass merchandisers and chain stores are included.