Maricopa County ranked No. 1 in talent attraction for second consecutive year
PHOENIX — Call it a dynasty – Maricopa County has once again taken the top spot in the country for talent attraction.
The annual Talent Attraction Scoreboard by labor market analyst EMSI has Arizona being No. 1 in talent attraction for the second consecutive year and fourth time in the last six years.
“Thanks to our incredible quality of life and robust talent pipeline, once again, Arizona is the best place in the nation to hire skilled workers,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release. “Arizona is laser-focused on equipping our state’s workers with skills for in-demand jobs.
“We bring everyone to the table, with industry driving where we have demand and how best to meet it. We look forward to continuing this forward-thinking strategy to equip even more residents with the skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs.”
The scoreboard compares counties on development of a talent pool, with rankings based on IRS migration data, job growth (overall and skilled), education attainment, regional competitiveness and job openings per capita.
The county had a 7% bump in education attainment, according to the report, and a 14% increase with skilled occupation. There was also an 8% jump in both skilled and overall jobs, along with 2.28 openings per every 100 residents.
It was said in the report that talent attraction, job growth and economic development are naturally dependent on communities having people, another factor in Maricopa County’s favor.
U.S. Census Bureau data found Phoenix was the fastest-growing big city of the past decade.
This helps the county’s talent pool as the report said with U.S. population growth slowing, winners in talent attraction and development will “simply be those with people.”
Maricopa County also had the largest working-age population increase between 2016 and 2020, a bump of nearly 200,000, and didn’t witness a decline in the under-15 population over the past decade, which is not the case for a good portion of the United States.
The report also noted the attractiveness of suburbs and exurbs is growing, something that Maricopa County was not immune to as the county last year had outbound professional migration to the surrounding counties of Pinal and Yavapai.
Phoenix was one of the few exceptions to that trend when compared with the nation’s other most populated cities, as there was also outbound professional migration to some southern California counties.