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Oakville Grocery to hire 45 for downtown Phoenix store

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

Lynn Ducey/The Business Journal

The new Oakville Grocery store at the CityScape development in downtown Phoenix is hosting a job fair in preparation of its spring opening.

The job fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, April 25, at the store, 50 W. Jefferson St., Suite. 100.

The store is looking for cooks, bakery and deli workers, stockers, baristas and bartenders. Store officials say they expect to hire about 45 full- and part-time workers.

Click here to download an application.

Viewpoint: Phoenix, put aside dreams of Gotham

[Source: Joel Kotkin, Arizona Republic] — LOS ANGELES – Now that Phoenix’s ascendancy has been at least momentarily suspended, its residents are no doubt wondering what comes next.  One tendency is to say the city needs to grow up and become more like East Coast cities or Portland, Ore., with dense urban cores and well-developed rail transit.  The other ready option is always inertia – a tendency to wait for things to come back the way they were.

Neither approach will work in the long run.  Over the coming decade, Phoenix has to recalibrate its economy into something based on more than being a second option for Californians and speculative real-estate investment.  Instead, it needs to focus laserlike on economic diversity and creating good jobs.

The model here for Phoenix is not New York or San Francisco.  Phoenix can’t rival these cities for their 19th-century charm or early 20th-century infrastructure.  As we would say back in New York (my hometown): fuggedaboutit.  Instead of dreaming about Gotham, Phoenix should think more about Houston.  Like the Texas megacity, Phoenix is the ultimate late 20th-century town, dependent on air-conditioning, ample freeway space, and a wide-open business culture.

A century away from becoming “quaint,” Phoenix needs to follow Houston’s example of relentless economic diversification: in Phoenix’s case, away from dependence on tourism and construction.  Houston has done this by focusing beyond its core energy sector to fields like international trade, manufacturing, and medical services.  Phoenix’s opportunities may lie elsewhere but may include some of these same industries.  The idea is that the region needs to heal its job problem.  Only then can the real-estate market rebound on a solid basis.

This employment focus must replace the current obsession with changing the city’s urban form.  Despite the current problems, Phoenix has performed pretty well over the past decade, creating more new jobs than most Sun Belt cities, not to mention job losers like San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.  Equally important, it still leads the nation over the past decade in net in-migration among the largest cities.  [Note: Read the full opinion piece at Viewpoint: Phoenix, put aside dreams of Gotham.]

Citizen feedback important as Phoenix City Council debates more cuts, food tax

One Tuesday, January 12, the Phoenix City Council is discussing the current budget outlook at a Work Study Session, set for 2 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St., in downtown Phoenix.  Review and download the meeting notice (note the meeting will now be in the Council Chambers) and the staff memo explaining the depth of the ongoing budget crisis.  In a nutshell:

  • The expected budget deficit for the remainder of this fiscal year and for FY 2010-2011 is $245 million, even after $156 million in cuts a year ago.
  • The elimination of all programs and departments not related to public safety would still not allow a balanced budget.
  • Because state-shared revenues are distributed on a two-year delay, the City faces at least several more years of cuts or no-growth budgets, even if local sales tax collections start to rebound next year (at the earliest).
  • While this budget document refers to the City’s general funds, a variety of other funds that rely on sales tax collection have the same budget issues, including Transit 2000, Phoenix Parks and Preserves Initiative, Prop 1 Public Safety, and the Phoenix Convention Center.

Two related newspaper articles are available:

While there will be a series of budget hearings over the next six weeks to discuss specific programmatic recommendations, Tuesday’s work study sessions will be an excellent opportunity to weigh in on the general direction budget cuts should take, or whether the Council should consider increasing revenues.  For more information about the City’s budgeting process, click here.

Job sprawl high in metro Phoenix

[Source: The Urbanist] — This graph is a jobs index comparing the jobs located more than 10 miles from CBDs to jobs located within three miles of CBDs.  The dark blue sections show the difference in this ratio between 1998 and 2006.  For instance, the ratio for Phoenix is 1:1, meaning Phoenix experienced 100 percent more growth at its urban boundaries than it did in its city center. The lightest areas show the values for cities within the Northern California megaregion.  [Note: Read the full article at Job sprawl in the megaregion.]

Worsening USA unemployment


1Sky Arizona to work for clean energy bill

1Sky_logo_1200px1Sky Arizona is holding a September 24th Kick-Off Party where people from all over and from all backgrounds will come together, connect, and work to create clean energy jobs and global warming solutions.  It’s planned to be a fun way to meet people and chart out a plan for making a real difference here in Arizona.  The goal: working on the 1Sky Campaign for clean energy and ensuring the passage of a clean energy bill that will be debated in the U.S. Senate this fall.

  • Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009
  • Time: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Place: Fair Trade Cafe, 1020 N. 1st Avenue, Phoenix (Central & Roosevelt)

For more information, visit 1Sky Arizona’s Facebook page or Meetup page, or call Ashley at 847-340-4570 or via e-mail.

This ain’t pretty for anyone

Geography of Jobs

[Source: TIP Strategies, Austin, TX] — This animated map provides a striking visual of employment trends over the last business cycle using net change in jobs from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on a rolling 12-month basis.  TIP Strategies used this approach to provide the smoothest possible visual depiction of ongoing employment dynamics at the MSA level.  By animating the data, the map highlights a number of concurrent trends leading up to the nation’s present economic crisis.  The graphic highlights the 100 largest metropolitan areas so that regional trends can be more easily identified.  For more information and to view the map animation, click here.

Phoenix ranks next-to-last in health, education job growth

[Source: G. Scott Thomas, Phoenix Business Journal] — Not all parts of the national economy are struggling.  Hiring continues in the fields of education and health services, which have added nearly a quarter-million jobs in the nation’s 100 biggest labor markets since the middle of last year.  But the Phoenix area ranked next-to-last among all the metros, losing 1,600 education and health jobs over the same time period.

The New York City area has been the biggest gainer, according to a Business Journal analysis of midyear employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The area gained 34,200 education and health jobs between June 2008 and the same month this year The 100 markets, taken as a group, have added 232,600 jobs in the fields of education and health since mid-2008, a gain of 1.8 percent.  Richmond, Va., registered the sharpest gain in percentage terms, with a one-year increase of 10.0 percent in education and health-services employment.  It’s followed by gains of 6.6 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth and 6.4 percent in Indianapolis.

Upswings in the two fields have been broadly based.  Eighty-seven of the top 100 markets boosted their totals of education and health jobs between 2008 and 2009.  Five were unchanged, and eight suffered losses.  [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix ranks next-to-last in health, education job growth.]

10 cities where Americans are relocating (Phoenix #4)

[Source:] — While migration to the sunny climates of the Phoenix metro area has certainly slowed — in 2006, the region saw an increase of 4.1%; in 2007, that number dropped to 3.3%  — it’s still significantly higher than most metros in the country.  The unemployment rate for January 2009 was 6.7%.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Metro Phoenix projected to lose 128,300 jobs in next two years; Arizona 167,800 to be lost

[Source: Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal] — Arizona is expected to lose 167,800 jobs in 2009 and 2010, according to new estimates from the Arizona Department of Commerce.  The Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa metro area is expected to take the biggest hit, losing 128,300 jobs.  The state economic agency said Thursday most of the Arizona job losses (146,200) would come this year, with the economy bottoming out and starting to improve in 2010.  The slowdown in population growth, real estate markets, and consumer spending, as well as tight credit, are hurting job growth in the state and the Phoenix area.

The report projects a 21 percent drop in construction employment in the state in 2009, but only a 2 percent loss next year.  The construction sector has been hit hard by the housing free-fall.  Professional and business services are expected to lose 8 percent of their jobs in Arizona this year and a more modest 1.8 percent drop next year.

Robin Bumgarner, senior regional vice president of Ajilon Professional Staffing in Phoenix, said she is seeing some improvement in the engineering and banking sectors in terms of hiring.  She is seeing more optimism than in February, which she now hopes was a “bottom.”  Bumgarner said the summer still could be rough, with winter visitors leaving and less overall business and tourism activity in the Valley. She said many of the job cuts come first for support and administrative staff and other “nonrevenue producers,” followed by middle managers.

Education and health care are the only sectors projected with any kind of statewide gains: 1.6 percent in 2009 and 1.5 percent next year, according to the state Commerce Department.