A Recap of 2023's Remarkable Growth and Achievements in the Valley
In 2023 Arizona emerged as an economic powerhouse, experiencing remarkable growth and attracting record investments, particularly in high-tech industries. This comprehensive review delves into the key economic highlights of the year, including a surge in holiday travel at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Scottsdale earning the top spot among the best cities for jobs, the impressive economic development growth in Phoenix, the city leading the nation in manufacturing job growth, and a recap of the significant achievements throughout 2023. Arizona’s strategic planning, adaptability, and resilience in fostering an environment conducive to economic prosperity across various sectors has set the stage for continued growth in 2024.
Holiday Travel Season Strong at Phoenix Sky Harbor
The 2023 holiday season brought a surge in travel to Phoenix Sky Harbor, highlighting the city’s resilience and attractiveness. The latest passenger traffic report from the Phoenix Aviation Department reveals that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport had its busiest November on record, attributing the surge to an active Thanksgiving weekend. In November 2023, a total of 4,288,405 passengers flew into or out of Sky Harbor, marking a 9.9% increase compared to the same month in 2022 and a substantial 15.7% increase compared to November 2019.
The heightened passenger traffic aligns with an increase in flights, with 17,328 landings in November, a 14.2% rise from the same month in the previous year. Major airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest, and United, all experienced a notable uptick in landings and passenger counts, indicating a positive trend for the aviation industry in Phoenix. The full-year results for December and 2023 are anticipated to be released in late January 2024 (Phoenix Business Journal).
This increased flight traffic reflects major confidence in Phoenix as a notable travel hub. This positive trend benefits the aviation sector and contributes to the region’s overall economic vitality.
Scottsdale Ranks No. 1 Among Best Cities for Jobs in the U.S.
WalletHub has released its report on the Best Places to Find a Job in 2024, with Scottsdale, AZ claiming the top spot among the best cities for jobs in the U.S. The rankings are based on a comparison of over 180 cities across 31 key metrics, including job opportunities per job seeker, employment growth, and monthly average starting salary. The city achieved this top ranking in thanks to a 12% job growth rate. Scottsdale also ranks first in terms of internship opportunities along with boasting the fifth highest median annual income in the country when adjusted for cost of living. Scottsdale quality of life score reigns high, making it among the top cities in the United States for families and recreation.
The top five cities for jobs are Scottsdale, AZ; Tampa, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; Columbia, MD; and Austin, TX. Conversely, the worst cities for jobs include Bridgeport, CT; Columbus, GA; Memphis, TN; Bakersfield, CA; and Stockton, CA. The report also highlights variations in median annual household income, starting salary, part-time employees, and the share of workers living in poverty across different cities.
Other Arizona cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area also performed well, with Tempe ranking 13th, Chandler 26th, Phoenix 37th, Gilbert 48th, Mesa 56th, Glendale 74th, and Peoria 114th. Tucson in southern Arizona ranked 120th overall with a 129th-place job market rating and a 90th socioeconomics ranking (The Center Square).
This ranking, as per AZ Big Media, reflects the city’s economic vibrancy and opportunities for professional growth. It underscores Phoenix’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment that attracts and retains top talent.
Economic Development Growth in Phoenix 2023
A comprehensive look at economic development in Phoenix throughout 2023 reveals impressive growth. In 2023, the Phoenix area continued its growth momentum, witnessing an influx of advanced manufacturers, distributors, and new headquarters. The Greater Phoenix Economic Council reported that 31 companies relocated to the Valley, creating over 4,100 phase-one jobs, occupying 3.7 million square feet of space, and investing $7 billion. The region experienced a diverse economic landscape, contributing to a 2.2% job growth forecast for 2024.
Notable investments included major commitments from global brands like LG Energy Solution, AMS, and Amkor in the technology sector. The biomedical sector also demonstrated resilience, with Mayo Clinic, Barrow Neurological Institute, and Banner Health unveiling significant announcements. Phoenix aims to become a top clean tech hub in the next five years, focusing on semiconductor and clean energy sectors. The city initiated the process to become a federally designated technology hub for medical devices and was named a workforce hub by the White House for manufacturing jobs (Phoenix Business Journal).
This analysis serves as a testament to Phoenix’s strategic planning and adaptability in the ever-evolving economic landscape.
Phoenix Leads Nation in Manufacturing Job Growth
In a notable achievement, Phoenix takes the lead in national manufacturing job growth since 2020. According to a report from commercial real estate firm Newmark, the city’s manufacturing sector has seen remarkable expansion, fostering job creation and economic strength. The report indicates that 14 new manufacturing facilities were announced in Phoenix during this period, resulting in the addition of 15,466 new jobs. TSMC’s presence in the area is a significant contributor, with plans to create about 4,500 jobs by 2026.
Other companies, such as KORE Power, have also chosen metro Phoenix for manufacturing plants, contributing to the region’s manufacturing growth. The report highlights the construction and manufacturing sectors as significant components of the region’s employment, with manufacturing accounting for about 6%.
Additionally, Phoenix ranks second to Los Angeles in the number of postsecondary degrees or certificates awarded in fields related to advanced manufacturing as of 2021. The region’s industrial development includes approximately 44.2 million square feet of new construction, with around 11.8% allocated for manufacturing (AZ Central).
New Industrial Facility in the West Valley
According to the Phoenix Business Journal, TriColor Auto Group, a Dallas-based online auto sales and financing company, is embarking on a significant expansion plan with the establishment of a new facility in Surprise, just north of Phoenix. The 258,000-square-foot warehouse, strategically positioned at the northwest corner of Cactus Road and Summit Way within the city’s rapidly growing railplex, will serve as a pivotal hub for TriColor Auto’s operations. The company plans to fully occupy the facility, set to be delivered by the summer of 2024, making it a key player in the region’s dynamic automotive sector.
The first phase of the facility is anticipated to generate 200 new jobs, contributing to the local job market and fostering economic growth. Upon reaching full operational capacity, the facility is expected to employ a total of 500 individuals, further solidifying TriColor Auto’s commitment to being a major contributor to the economic landscape of the Phoenix MSA.
With multiple locations across the Southwest, including New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas, TriColor Auto has positioned itself as a key player in the online auto sales and financing sector. The company currently operates two stores in Phoenix and Mesa, and the addition of the Surprise facility signals a strategic expansion into new territories. This expansion aligns with the broader narrative of Phoenix emerging as a hotspot for economic activities, attracting businesses across various industries, and contributing to the city’s sustained growth and development.
2023 in Review: The Future is Arizona
2023 was an explosive year for Arizona. The state experienced significant economic growth, attracting record investments, particularly in high-tech industries. The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and economic partners secured over 95 competitive projects, leading to the creation of more than 24,600 projected new jobs and over $10.3 billion in investments.
The state saw expansions and new projects all over the valley, including Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and more. To start, the manufacturing sector witnessed notable projects, such as LG Energy Solution in Queen Creek, Amkor and HyRel Technologies in Peoria, and American Battery Factory in Tucson. Arizona went on to earn top national rankings for business, innovation, and talent attraction.
Another sector that saw strategic growth this past year was Arizona’s semiconductor industry. Projects include the hosting of SEMICON West in Phoenix, the creation of the Materials-To-Fab Center in Tempe, and the expansion of the Micro/Nano Fabrication Center in Tucson.
Furthermore, the state also continuously invested in workforce development, supporting innovative partnerships and apprenticeship programs. Startup success and innovation were fostered through programs such as the Advanced Manufacturing Accelerator program and the Sustainability Accelerator program, both launched by Plug and Play accelerateAZ. Small businesses throughout the valley also received support through programs like the Super Bowl LVII Business Connect Program and the Small Business Boot Camp.
Lastly, Arizona secured a significant federal broadband grant of $993.1 million to enhance infrastructure and technology deployment in 2023, marking the largest broadband investment in state history. All in all, this comprehensive economic review by AZ Commerce highlights the state’s achievements in diverse sectors and sets the stage for continued growth in Arizona.
Beyond job creation, military activities contribute to technological advancements and innovation. Collaborations between the military and research institutions result in advancements in fields such as aerospace, cybersecurity, and medical research. Arizona’s role in supporting defense-related research and development positions it as a leader in cutting-edge technologies.
The economic landscape of Arizona presents a bright and promising future marked by sustained growth and positive indicators. The state’s overall optimism is underlined by flourishing economic conditions that bode well for its residents and businesses alike. Phoenix, as the capital and economic hub, stands out as a formidable driving force behind Arizona’s prosperity. Its strategic initiatives, adaptability, and resilience have positioned it as a catalyst for economic development. As we transition into 2024, the collective efforts of Arizona and the influential role played by Phoenix set the stage for continued economic success, reflecting a resilient and thriving state.
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