Phoenix gains 35,000 jobs, wages top U.S. average—highest increase in U.S.

City of PhoenixIn yet another sign of strong economic momentum and growth in quality jobs, the Phoenix metro area experienced the highest wage growth in the nation over the past year. Wages in the Valley jumped 7.6 percent between July 2016 and July 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We’ve been laser focused on building a more innovation-driven economy that works for everyone, and we’re seeing great results,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “This significant private-sector wage growth is being driven by advanced industries like technology, biosciences, healthcare, financial services and precision manufacturing.”

The average hourly wage grew by nearly $2 an hour over the past year in the Phoenix metro area and is now $26.75, 1.5 percent higher than the national average of $26.36.

Overall, the Phoenix metro area ranks 23rd in wages, but it’s quickly heading in the right direction. Before the Great Recession in 2007, advanced industries accounted for less than half of the workforce in Phoenix (46 percent). Now those higher-talent, higher-wage jobs make up more than 60 percent of the Valley’s workforce.

On Sept. 14, the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity announced the August employment data for Arizona and the Phoenix metro. Nearly 35,000 jobs were added in the Valley in August 2017 over a year earlier.

Of that number, 58 percent of the jobs were in advanced industries, the sectors Phoenix and other Valley cities have emphasized for economic development job growth. More than 20,000 jobs were added in manufacturing, professional services, financial services, and health care.

Manufacturers added 3,400 jobs in the Valley in August, marking the tenth month out of the last 12 in which manufacturing employment bucked the national trend in Phoenix and continued to grow.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

Top 10 metros by increase in average hourly wage, July 2017 over July 2016

“MSA Rank” is based on July 2016 metropolitan statistical area population by the U.S. Census; “Rank” means percent change in average hourly wage year-over-year

Rank MSA Rank Metro State(s) 2017 2016 Chg
1 12 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale AZ $ 26.75 $ 24.87 7.6%
2 11 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA $ 38.03 $ 35.60 6.8%
3 35 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA $ 38.03 $ 35.60 6.8%
4 22 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia NC-SC $ 28.09 $ 26.44 6.2%
5 16 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI $ 29.32 $ 27.70 5.8%
6 4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX $ 27.36 $ 25.85 5.8%
7 13 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA $ 23.24 $ 22.00 5.6%
8 31 Austin-Round Rock TX $ 28.76 $ 27.43 4.8%
9 24 San Antonio-New Braunfels TX $ 23.07 $ 22.14 4.2%
10 8 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach FL $ 24.19 $ 23.22 4.2%
United States average $ 26.36 $ 25.53 3.3%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top 10 metro areas ranked by highest 2017 average hourly wage

“MSA Rank” is based on July 2016 metropolitan statistical area population by the U.S. Census; “Rank” is based on 2017 average hourly wage

Rank MSA Rank Metro State(s) 2017 2016 Chg
1 11 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA $ 38.03 $ 35.60 6.8%
2 35 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA $ 38.03 $ 35.60 6.8%
3 15 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA $ 35.96 $ 34.72 3.6%
4 10 Boston-Cambridge-Nashua MA-NH NECTA $ 34.91 $ 33.71 3.6%
5 6 Washington DC-VA-MD-WV $ 34.11 $ 32.86 3.8%
6 1 New York-Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA $ 31.43 $ 30.22 4.0%
7 16 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI $ 29.32 $ 27.70 5.8%
8 19 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO $ 28.87 $ 28.71 0.6%
9 31 Austin-Round Rock TX $ 28.76 $ 27.43 4.8%
10 3 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin IL-IN-WI $ 28.66 $ 28.13 -1.9%
23 12 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale AZ $ 26.75 $ 24.87 7.6%
United States average $ 26.36 $ 25.53 3.3%
Top 25 Metro area average $ 28.56 $ 27.57 3.6%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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