Workforce Report Shows ‘Positive Development’ in Key Arizona Industries

Greater Phoenix Chamber

The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation hosted a Workforce Webinar on Dec. 10th and discussed the current and future state of Arizona’s Workforce. Trevor Stokes, CEO, Partnership for Workforce Innovation provided an analysis of the Greater Phoenix region’s labor market, unemployment, dynamic industries and how COVID-19 impacted Valley businesses.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, the State of the Workforce Report shows positive development in some of Arizona’s key industries,” said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “As Arizona continues to grow, it will be crucial that we continue to find innovative ways to prepare students for college and career by aligning the needs of business with education. The Chamber looks forward to expanding our programs that are helping to strengthen talent pipelines.”

Below are some key highlights from each category:


  • Due to COVID-19 there was an unprecedented demand for unemployment benefits. Approximately 1 in 7 workers in the Accommodations and Food Services industry and 1 in 8 in Health Care and Social Assistance, have filed an unemployment claim at some point in the first eight months in 2020.
  • Several indicators show 2.9 million older workers who exited the labor force are unlikely to return.

Employer Perspectives:

  • Around 40% of the businesses that responded to this survey were required to shut down at least a part of their business in response to the pandemic.
  • More than 60% were forced to close or limit parts of their business because of pandemic-related changes in demand for products or services.
  • 88% have implemented work from home opportunities
  • The move to work from home is permanent so the need for office space is fairly minimal. Also, it’s expanded the talent pool as we can hire across the country vs. just a Phoenix Metro focus.

Dynamic Industries:

  • Construction: Arizona ranks as the sixth fastest growing state in 2020. As the state continues to grow highways, houses, offices buildings and recreational venues need to be built. The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s 2020 Workforce Report indicates specialty trade contractors are in demand. From August 2019 to August 2020, employers from the construction sector in the Greater Phoenix area posted more than 21,000 job openings online. Hiring is happening at every level including plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractors, electrical contractors, and roofing contractors, plus an additional 8,000 positions in construction supervisor or construction manager categories.
  • Manufacturing: The manufacturing sector is another industry doing well in Arizona. Its grown by 1.5 percent in the last year, led by gains in the medical equipment and supplies and aerospace specialties. Assemblers, industrial engineers and inspectors are needed. From August 2019 to August 2020, employers in Phoenix posted more than 43,000 job openings online. Companies such as Honeywell, Northrup Grumman, Intel and Boeing are looking for individuals to build body cameras, avionics equipment, semiconductors, and more.
  • Healthcare: The health care sector has grown by 5 percent in the last year, led by gains in the ambulatory health care fields. From August 2019 to August 2020, employers from the health care sector in the Greater Phoenix region posted more than 103,000 job openings online. The occupations most often employed in the health care industry are registered nurses, home health aides, medical assistants, and medical secretaries all in the top ten.

To view the full report, click here.  Or contact Lindsay Hansen, PR consultant, to schedule an interview with the Greater Phoenix Chamber.

Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber promotes regional prosperity by serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities. The Chamber pursues this mission by collaborating with business, political and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool, create a regional approach to economic development and drive a pro-Arizona agenda.

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