Greater Phoenix added nearly 90,000 new hires over the past year, according to the latest employment reporter from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. The metropolitan area unemployment rate continued to fall, dipping to 3.1 percent, down 0.1 percent from January and down from 6.7 percent a year ago.
Most hires took positions in the food and beverage industry sector reflecting seasonal hiring, increased tourism and more new restaurants opening this year than last February. Nearly 21,000 new positions were filled in the sector.
Retail hiring was also strong with almost 15,000 new hires compared to last year.
Professional, technical and scientific positions placed third, in a strong showing once again. More than 12,000 new positions were filled in the sector over the past year. The professional sector has been among the top three hiring sectors for the last five months in a row. This is the first time in the last five years the sector has had so many consecutive months of significantly increased hiring.
Jobs in the scientific sectors reflect Phoenix’s nation-leading position in life sciences hiring, according to the CBRE 2022 Life Sciences market report.
Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent in January and 6 percent a year earlier. The state added nearly 127,000 jobs in year-over-year comparisons with 30 percent of jobs statewide landing in areas other than Greater Phoenix. Dining and retail showed the greatest growth statewide outside the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Manufacturing hiring continued its Greater Phoenix growth adding 5,400 jobs compared to February 2021 and outstripping construction hiring again. Another 7,500 jobs were added in health care hiring.
Greater Phoenix continues to be among the strongest markets for hiring compared to other major metropolitan areas around the country, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.