Phoenix Small Business Hiring and Wages Show Pandemic Rebound in March

By Eric Jay Toll for PHXNewsroom

Job gains in Phoenix, paired with a nearly 4 percent year-over-year increase in weekly wages, show ongoing economic recovery signs. The average earnings in the Valley grew to $940 per week, placing the metro area tenth among large markets. Riverside, California, topped the list with an 8 percent earnings jump. Boston was second with nearly 6 percent, followed by almost 5 percent hikes in New York and San Francisco.

In addition to increases in the number of hires, people are working more hours per week. Greater Phoenix landed in the top five metro area rankings for weekly workhours in March 2021, up 0.94 percent over last March. Tempered by the mid-March 2020 pandemic start, the year-ago figure reflects the beginning of the state-ordered lock-down.

Graphic, image shows Phoenix metro wages for small companies

In the image above, Phoenix is showing gains in wages and earnings, placing the metro 10th among the largest U.S. metros for wage growth. (Credit: Paychex)

Paychex, a national payroll and human resources support company for small businesses, has its western regional headquarters in Phoenix. The Small Business Employment Watch is its monthly publication assessing economic change among the company’s hundreds of small business clients around the U.S.

The gains in March are a continuing show of economic recovery in Greater Phoenix. The March 2021 small business employment numbers come on the heels of last week’s Arizona Employment Report, which also shows overall Phoenix area hiring continuing month-over-month growth. The Paychex small company year-over-year data show the small business workforce is 3.3 percent less in March than the same month last year. The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity’s most current metro area workforce numbers report the Phoenix metro February workforce at 3.6 percent less than the previous year for all companies.

Graphic, image shows national hiring trends from April 2005 to March 2021.

​Looking back to April 2005, across the nation, hiring plummeted in the 2008 Great Recession and again in 2020’s pandemic–although not as many jobs were lost. Source: Paychex.

Despite a solid March 2021 earnings gain in the Phoenix metro, the average small company pays its workers $28.08 per hour, about a dollar-an-hour less than the national average. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Arizona shares the nation’s lead for year-over-year 2020 personal income growth with an 8.4 percent increase. According to Paychex, wages and earnings, one component of personal income, are rising more slowly among small companies.​

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events