Arizona leads the country in job and wage growth

Arizona is ranked second in the nation in small business wage and job growth according to Paychex and IHS Markit.

In their Small Business Employment Watch, Paychex and IHS Markit ranked Arizona second in hourly earnings and state job growth. Phoenix was also ranked second in both categories in the metro performance area.

“Phoenix is just growing like mad,” Jim Diffley, IHS Markit Chief Regional Economist, said. “Phoenix sees a lot of in-migration [and] is developing a very diversified economy. So, it’s not surprising that Phoenix appears great on the jobs index.”

In hourly wages, the entire Western United States saw an increase of 3.28 percent, averaging $28.38 an hour.

According to the Diffley, “the trend in the country – which has been a trend in the last decade too – is fast growing metros of the Sun Belt to be the dynamic part of the U.S. economy.”

Phoenix’s average hourly earnings are $26.69, a 3.84 percent increase from 12 months ago, and .97 cents more than Arizona’s overall average of $25.72/hour.

In January, the country saw a -0.96 percent increase in the jobs index.

The Western U.S., however, saw a .06 percent increase with Arizona’s index increasing .56 percent and Phoenix increasing 1.65 percent.

According to the report Arizona’s job index is 100.30 and Phoenix’s is 100.93.

Diffley contributes the growth to Arizona’s business climate, the state having space that supports growth, and the Southwest being a transportation hub as well as the boom in residential relocations to Arizona.

“Growth begets growth,” he said. “Everything stacks up in favor. All the factors are positive for Phoenix, as opposed to the crowding, the high wages, high regulation, etc. in the Northeast and Midwest.”

According to Diffley, Arizona will “easily” continue to be among the fastest growing states over the next decade.

To see the whole report, click here.

Emily Richardson

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