After recognizing that the Phoenix area’s fiscal health was too dependent on real estate growth – a nod to the boom and bust that occurred in the local housing market during the 2000s – business leaders started a series of efforts to diversify the region’s economic portfolio.
One of those plans, “Phoenix Forward,” is backed by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and is focused on four major sectors for future job growth: transportation and logistics; health care; biosciences; and, advanced business services.
Unrelated to that plan, however, the Phoenix region has had some economic wins in recent months. As 2015 came to a close, insurer State Farm was putting the finishing touches on a new, $700 million regional division in Tempe that will create 1,000 new jobs. General Motors opened an information technology center in Chandler in the summer of 2014 with 500 new jobs, and it expects to create another 500 jobs there by 2019.
The Phoenix metro area covers two counties in south central Arizona. The region’s economy is a haven for small business – of the 126,000 businesses in the metro region, 96 percent have 50 or fewer employees.
Some of the local Fortune 500 companies include pet products retailer PetSmart, waste management and recycling company Republic Services, and Avnet, a distributor of electronic components and computer products.
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