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February Phoenix Blog Cover Photo

Corporate Relocation, Academic Excellence, and Job Opportunities Arise in Phoenix, AZ

In the heart of the Southwest lies a city that embodies resilience, innovation, and opportunity: Phoenix, Arizona. Renowned for its warm climate and stunning desert landscapes, Phoenix has also emerged as a dynamic hub for economic growth and population expansion. In this blog post, we explore the positive attributes of Phoenix’s job market and population growth, drawing insights from recent developments and articles that underscore the city’s flourishing landscape. 

Phoenix’s Tech Industry is Flourishing 

On February 9, the White House announced Arizona officials had successfully lobbied for a $5 billion investment in a semiconductor center. The plan involves establishing a network of advanced computer chip research and engineering facilities throughout the United States, which is complemented by the formation of a public-private consortium. This cutting-edge facility represents a significant milestone in the city’s technological advancement, positioning Phoenix as a prominent player in the semiconductor sector. 

Phoenix Arizona colorful skyline

The center’s focus on research and development is set to propel innovation within the industry, attracting top talent and fostering collaboration among leading experts. This strategic investment underscores Phoenix’s commitment to cultivating a robust technology ecosystem, driving economic growth, and solidifying its reputation as a thriving hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Another major headquarters has opened in the valley, Sara’s Micro Devices. The company has relocated its headquarters to Chandler and inaugurated a manufacturing facility. Saras plans to invest $50 million into its Chandler facility, with the aim of expanding its clean room space, and expects to hire 50 new employees by 2025 as part of its growth strategy. 

Job Growth in Phoenix: Dutch Bros Expansion 

Dutch Bros recently announced that it would be moving corporate jobs to the Phoenix area. The drive-through coffee chain, with 831 stores in 16 states, up from around 300 in 2018, declared that it would be relocating 40% of its total support staff to Phoenix by Jan. 1, 2025. 

Oregon Live reported that Dutch Bros’ new CEO Christine Barone and Travis Beorsma, the company’s founder and chairperson have stated it’s best for the company to have corporate support closer to its stores. Phoenix has been noted to offer more direct and easily accessible flights to the communities the company operates in. Barone said in a company press release that Phoenix is one of Dutch Bros strongest markets. 

This move reflects confidence in Phoenix’s economic landscape and highlights its attractiveness to businesses seeking growth and expansion. With Dutch Bros’ investment, Phoenix stands to benefit from increased employment opportunities and economic activity. 

Resilience in the Restaurant Industry 

Phoenix has recorded a remarkable restaurant boom. According to data by Yelp, the number of new restaurants listed in Phoenix rose by 12% from 2019 to 2023. This surge in new restaurants reflects not only a growing dining scene but also underscores the importance of restaurants as community gathering places and significant contributors to local economies. 

Phoenix Restaurant mountain views

Nationally, the restaurant industry is experiencing a resurgence, with nearly 53,800 new restaurants opening across the country in 2023. When examining overall business openings in 2023 compared to both 2022 and 2019, there is notable growth in food businesses (up 16% and 28%), nightlife establishments (up 11% and 7%), and restaurants (up 10% and 2%), indicating robust signs of expansion across these sectors.

NatureSweet greenhouse ribbon cutting in Phoenix, AZ
Agricultural Innovation: NatureSweet’s Greenhouse Facility 

Earlier in February, NatureSweet celebrated the ribbon cutting of a greenhouse production facility in Arizona. The prominent produce grower intends to recruit approximately 250 agricultural workers within the next three years and allocate over $5 million solely to the facility. This step promises to stimulate Arizona’s economy. The investment represents the brand’s expansion of its cultivation operations into the United States. 

According to Governor Katie Hobbs, “Arizona is proud to celebrate NatureSweet’s new production facility in Graham County. With this investment, NatureSweet will create hundreds of quality jobs in rural Arizona and strengthen Arizona’s important agriculture industry.” 

The President & CEO of NatureSweet, Rodolfo Spielmann, also commented, “Choosing Arizona to plant our seeds is more than just a strategic decision, it’s a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and the incredible opportunities that the state offers. We look forward to contributing to the area’s dynamic landscape and growing a successful future together. We are just starting.” 

Education and Employability: ASU Graduates 

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona State University (ASU) is ranked by the Global Employability University Ranking & Survey No. 34 globally for employability on a list of 250 schools across the far reaches of the globe. ASU stands out as the sole Arizona institution featured in the 13th edition of the list. Among U.S. institutions, it secures the 13th spot and ranks second among public universities nationwide. 

ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus

In a statement to the Phoenix Business Journal, ASU’s director of career and professional development services, Anthony Cortright commented, “You cannot attribute ASU’s success to any one factor. Arizona State University (ASU) has been consistently ranked high in the employable category due to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to education.” Cortright continued, “All of these factors contribute to ASU’s positive reputation and high rankings in employability and ultimately help ASU students succeed in their careers.” 

ASU stands out as a beacon of educational excellence. It is consistently ranked among the top universities in the nation. The university ranks 9th in the nation for total research expenditures. With this, the city has been able to drive innovation and economic growth. 

Phoenix universities also contribute significantly to research and innovation in Arizona. ASU, for example, is a leading research institution with over $600 million in annual research expenditures. Its contributions drive advancements in fields such as biomedicine, engineering, and sustainability. 

Scottsdale fashion square
Job Market Recognition: Scottsdale 

Scottsdale earns recognition as one of the best places for jobs in the United States, further emphasizing Phoenix’s robust job market. In a recent study by WalletHub, Scottsdale was ranked as the best city in the United States for job-seekers, with Tempe and Chandler also ranking highly. The study evaluated 182 cities across various indicators including job growth, employment opportunities, average starting salaries, unemployment rates, commute times, and affordable housing. Scottsdale secured the top spot largely due to its impressive 12% job growth rate, ensuring ample hiring opportunities. 

According to the report, “This ensures there will be plenty of hiring opportunities for people entering the workforce. Scottsdale ranks first when it comes to internship opportunities as well, so it’s great for people looking for workforce experience during school.” 

 WalletHub added, “Scottsdale doesn’t just deliver quantity when it comes to jobs, though – it has quality as well, as evidenced by the fact that it has the fifth-highest median annual income in the country when adjusted for the cost of living. It also provides a good quality of life, ranking high among cities in measurements focused on family life and recreation.” 

Migration Trends: Arizona’s Appeal 

Arizona continues to attract out-of-state movers, with Phoenix being a significant destination for relocation according to a Zillow analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey (ACS), focusing on the migration patterns of Generation Z individuals. While Texas significantly gained the most Gen Z movers, a number that stands at 76,805, the state of Arizona also experienced a net migration of 21,418 Gen Z movers. In terms of all out-of-state movers, Arizona ranks 5th with 53,520 migrants. 

Arizona restort

The data in this report suggests that Gen Z movers prioritize job opportunities over affordability, with many drawn to states like Arizona for its growing job market. Texas emerged as the top destination for Gen Z movers, followed by California and Florida. Conversely, Michigan, Maryland, and Idaho experienced lower Gen Z migration rates. The analysis defines Generation Z as those born between 1996 and 2004, excluding temporary moves of college students from the data (AZ Big Media). 

Southwest airlines plane in the sky
Infrastructure Investment: Southwest Airlines 

Southwest Airlines has finalized the construction of a new 90,000-square-foot hangar facility at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, signaling the company’s strategic expansion of operations in Phoenix and the broader Western U.S. region. This newly completed facility, one of the largest in Southwest’s nationwide network, can accommodate three additional aircrafts within its Technical Operations facilities at Sky Harbor. Southwest has augmented the shop space for its Technical Operations team, anticipating local growth within the upcoming year. With this addition, Southwest now boasts over 150,000 square feet of hangar space at Sky Harbor. 

Beyond bolstering Southwest’s operations in Phoenix, the expanded hangar is poised to support the airline’s activities across the Southwest region. According to Southwest Chief Operating Officer Andrew Watterson, this facility serves as a pivotal hub for Southwest’s flight operations. “You need centers of gravity around your network to support your aircraft. For the West, it’s Phoenix for us,” Watterson said. “This allows us to keep our aircraft flowing through the West.” 

The key sectors driving Phoenix’s economy include technology and tourism. The job growth in the city further cements the city’s status as a thriving economic hub. Phoenix’s impressive statistics paint a picture of a dynamic and resilient city, poised for continued growth and prosperity in the years to come. 

In conclusion, Phoenix, Arizona, stands as the heart of opportunity in the desert, with a thriving job market and robust population growth. From the establishment of semiconductor technology centers to the influx of new businesses and the recognition of educational excellence, Phoenix continues to attract talent, investments, and residents seeking a bright future. As 2024 moves forward, it’s clear that Phoenix’s trajectory is one of continued growth, cementing its status as a city on the rise in the American Southwest. 

Since 2019, Rise48 Equity has completed over $2.09 Billion+ in total transactions, and currently has $1.65 Billion+ of Assets Under Management located in Phoenix and Dallas. All of the company’s assets under management are managed by Rise48 Equity’s vertically integrated property management company, Rise48 Communities.