ARIZONA NEWS

Metro Phoenix job growth over last year outpaces total in 21 states

May 24, 2019, 4:04 AM

(Twitter Photo/@PHXEconDev)...

(Twitter Photo/@PHXEconDev)

(Twitter Photo/@PHXEconDev)

PHOENIX – A decade of local governments focusing on sustainable job growth is paying off across the Valley.

From April 2018 to April 2019, the Phoenix area added 68,000 jobs, beating the total in 21 states, including Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Massachusetts, according to a Phoenix Community and Economic Development department press release.

As the number of jobs in the Valley grew by 3.2% over the last year, the unemployment rate fell from 4.1% to 3.7%.

The strong numbers didn’t happen by chance, Eric Jay Toll, Community and Economic Development communications manager, told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email Tuesday.

“The Phoenix City Council and other Valley councils directed economic developers to focus on economically sustainable job sectors. That was almost 10 years ago,” he said.

“Today, we’re seeing the results of that policy across the entire Valley.”

Toll said job growth has been notably strong in the fields of business and financial activities, biosciences and health care, manufacturing, and technology.

“These sectors represent more than 60 percent of the workforce,” he said. “The jobs tend to pay more, are more stable.”

He said the success is the result of a sustained push to luring new companies in those fields and help existing companies expand.

As a result, the construction sector, while expanding by 16,600 new positions, is no longer a key indicator of the local job market’s strength, Toll said.

“The real measure of the Valley’s job growth is the biosciences and health care,” he said.

“Today there nearly 100,000 more working in that field than there were in 2007.”

One area that stumbled over the last year was financial services, which lost 700 jobs as mortgage rates rose and home sales dropped, hitting the lending field especially hard.

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Metro Phoenix job growth over last year outpaces total in 21 states