Phoenix: A Top Destination for Job Seekers and Employers

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By Damian Scandiffio

Regional Director of Business Development

As the capital of Arizona, Phoenix is known for its year-round sun, warm temperatures, amazing resort hotels, luxurious spas, and championship golf courses. Home to everything from beautiful gardens, interesting tourist attractions, and bustling nightlife, Phoenix—located in Maricopa County—certainly has a lot to offer. But the city is much more than fun and sun—it’s also a top destination for job seekers and employers alike.

The Phoenix region workforce plays a key role in the decision of organizational leaders to establish and grow their Arizona presence. Talent is the lifeblood of a business and in 2021 EMSI’s Talent Attraction Scorecard ranked Maricopa County number one in talent attraction for the second year in a row and the fourth time in six years. PennyMac Financial Services, a Fortune 500 residential mortgage company, announced they were opening a new mortgage sales and operations center in Phoenix in April 2021. When asked why they chose to locate in Phoenix Doug Jones, President and Chief Mortgage Banking Officer, said, “[our] innovative workflow combined with the strong talent available in Phoenix will allow us to recruit top performers and provide industry-leading customer service.” The Greater Phoenix area has one of the county’s largest community college systems and higher-than-average populations of millennial, veteran, and diverse citizens. This combination of support and opportunity attracts companies looking for a place to expand their geographical footprint.

Phoenix area residents have numerous recreational activities to choose from. Hiking trails in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve or paddle boarding on Temple Town Lake are fun activities for outdoor enthusiasts. For people that prefer to stay inside, Phoenix has multiple professional sports teams to root for and museums to tour. But what attracts job seekers to Phoenix?

The growing number of tech opportunities: Arizona has emerged as a destination for high-tech, high-wage industries like semiconductors, electric vehicle manufacturing, startups, and more. Due to lower office space costs ($24.22 per square foot) compared to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Seattle (average costs per square foot over $100) technology companies are becoming very popular in Arizona—and Phoenix in particular. This is attractive to tech talent because the cost of living is much lower in Arizona compared to California and Washington.

Above-average compensation: The number of six-figure income jobs in the Phoenix area had the second-largest increase (217.1 percent) in the U.S. from 2015 to 2020. Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 5.5 percent in the Greater Phoenix region for the year ending March 2022 compared to 4.8 percent nationwide.

Training, education, and placement programs: In March, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to award $14.5 million in funding to support county job seekers. By partnering with local organizations with a track record of success in job coaching, the county provides job seekers with the skills they need to gain employment opportunities and advance within in-demand industries. The Phoenix Chamber Foundation has placed a focused effort on preparing students coming out of high school to enter the workforce, or post-secondary training opportunities, by spreading awareness of emerging career opportunities.

Are you an employer or job seeker contemplating expanding or relocating to the Greater Phoenix area? View Acara’s latest infographic for more labor force statistics—including top growing occupations, largest industries, and employment data.

This blog was authored by Acara Regional Director of Business Development Damian Scandiffio.