Massive economic growth in Phoenix calls for more workers

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On Feb. 3, 2022, the Phoenix Chamber Foundation released its State of the Workforce report. The annual report looks into the state of the economy and workforce by providing insight into the most negatively impacted careers, along with those that are experiencing significant growth.

Additionally, the program takes a look at key consumer confidence data focusing on employee insights into their current roles.

Jennifer Mellor, the Chief Innovation Officer of the Phoenix Chamber Foundation, said that the report showed a lot of available jobs, but not enough people to fill them. She said that almost every sector across Arizona’s economy has struggled finding the talent they need to be successful.

Arizona has recovered all of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic, and has even seen exponential growth across different industry sectors, Mellor said.

“We’re continuing to see this exponential growth at a time where our labor market is kind of tightening at the same time,” Mellor said. Despite the growth in the majority of sectors, Mellor said that the rate of government jobs has plateaued.

Industries are being recruited to the Valley because of the immense effort the State made to diversify our economy after the market crash in 2008, Mellor said.

“We started attracting more IT companies, more manufacturing companies, and really diversifying our economy,” Mellor said. “We’re being dubbed the ‘Wall Street of the West,’ and are projected to take over Wall Street in a number of financial services jobs.”

The Foundation is focusing on preparing people coming out of high school to enter the workforce, or post-secondary training opportunities. Mellor said they are spreading career awareness to make sure people know what jobs are going to be available. A lot of times kids are unaware about emerging job opportunities coming to Arizona, she said.

According to the report, the demand for lower-skilled jobs is decreasing, Mellor said.

“What we’re really needing is our workers to go back and get up-skilled and be produced at their highest possible capacity,” Mellor said.

 

Jennifer Mellor/Chief Innovation Officer, Phoenix Chamber Foundation

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