Phoenix on pace to crack top ten in city metro list

Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the United States with the fifth-highest population. And now, the surrounding area is expanding as well; recent studies report that the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area is expected to break into the top ten of U.S. city metros.

Last year, Phoenix metro surpassed the San Francisco-Oakland metro to become the 11th-largest metropolitan area in the nation, and this year is anticipated to bring even more growth.

According to data collected by the Committee for Economic Development (CED), the Phoenix metro grew by roughly 92,000 between 2017 and 2018. Comparatively, the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island grew by a combined 46,423 people. The Boston metro – which currently holds the #10 spot – had significantly less growth than Phoenix.

With one of the highest net in-migrant rates, low taxes, and a pro-business regulatory climate, Phoenix is the hottest place for people of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, one of the separating factors between Phoenix and Boston is their respective small business climates.  

Between February of 2018 and 2019, the Phoenix metro had the second-highest small business growth rate (3.8 percent) in the entire nation, according to the Paychex HIS Markit Small Business Employment Watch. Comparatively, Boston had the lowest rate in the nation, reporting a decline in small business hiring.

City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development spokesperson Eric Toll explains that the Phoenix metro prioritizes the growth of small businesses, which make up 91 percent of the business population.

“While new large companies landing in the Valley make big news, Phoenix’s Business and Workforce Development Center assists small businesses with recruiting, hiring, training and retaining workforce,” Toll notes. “There is no charge for this service. We help businesses of all sizes qualify for state and city incentive and tax credit programs—the same programs offered [to] new companies coming to town.”

Although small businesses make up a large majority of the population, larger corporations are still as healthy as ever. The same Paychex report found that Arizona ranked third nationally in both job and wage growth; this is no coincidence, as we have some of the best training programs in the country.

“Phoenix offers free programs to help with training, earning certificates, and assistance towards college degrees,” Toll said. “Like the business programs, these are open to all residents of Maricopa County. Programs include paid apprenticeships, training to obtain Security and Exchange Commission financial services certifications, a program designed for mid-career professionals to change careers or return to the workforce, and other training efforts with our partners. Last year, Phoenix and our partners helped over 77,000 people with job searches and new careers.”

Clearly, Arizona has all areas covered; with low taxes, a high living standard, and a supportive business atmosphere, it’s no wonder people are migrating to the Phoenix metro and making it a top 10 national metropolitan area.

Ben Norman

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