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Updated Oct 18, 2012 - 1:22 pm

Report: Arizona in top 5 nationally for job hunters

In this Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, photo, Spirit Airlines flight attendant Shaun Mobley, left, greets Roxanne Ward, right, during a Flight Attendant Open House. Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months. The increase represents a rebound from the previous week's sharp drop. Both swings were largely due to technical factors. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

PHOENIX -- Less than three of years after having an unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, Arizona has become the nation's fifth-most popular destination for job seekers, according to the Manhattan Institute.

In 2009-10 Arizona's unemployment rate hovered around 10 percent. In August the jobless rate was at 8.3 percent.

Michael Hayes with Momentum Specialized Staffing said he's seeing an influx of people from the South, Michigan and the jobs are for skilled workers.

"For example metal workers, plumbers, high-end construction, truck drivers."

And it's not just jobs that are luring people to the Grand Canyon State, he said.

"The cost of living is significantly lower than many other places. Homes are affordable. And we don't face disasters that other states do like flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes."

There is one thing that concerns him.

"We're not creating enough high-level jobs with people paying taxes and spending a lot of their money. We're still the low wage capitol of the world because we love to create $10-12 an hour jobs.

"Those jobs long term will not replace a $15-25 an hour job. I don't expect construction to fully recover even though that has improved."

Arizona Construction Association estimates that the state lost almost 210,000 construction jobs in the recession.

Rounding out the top five job destination states were Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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