It may come as surprise to some that, despite the arid desert climate of Phoenix, the city’s economy was primarily built on agriculture and natural resources. Since the mid-20th century, though, industry in Phoenix has diversified rather dramatically.

Today, the biggest drivers behind Phoenix’s economy are healthcare, technology and energy, while aviation, manufacturing and digital media are also major players. Intel, one of the area's prominent employers, employs around 12,000 staff. U-Haul International, a major moving company, and the regional airline Mesa Air Group both have their headquarters in Phoenix, while American Express also bases all of their digital operations in the city.

In addition, the city is home to a handful of Fortune 500 companies including electronics corporation Avnet, mining company Freeport-McMoRan and waste management company Republic Services.

Job market in Phoenix

Industrious newcomers will have no problem finding employment in Phoenix. The city’s economy is on an upward trajectory and job growth has been fairly consistent over the last few years.

While the unemployment rate in Phoenix is slightly higher than the national average, there has been a substantial improvement in recent years. The state government has also taken measures to stimulate economic momentum throughout Arizona, and as the state capital, Phoenix has benefited tremendously. Eliminating red tape, improving tax regulations to become more business-friendly, and recognising out-of-state occupational licences have all created new job opportunities in the city.

New arrivals with a strong academic background and experience in areas such as healthcare, technology, education and finance will do particularly well in Phoenix. There are also opportunities to be had in the fields of sales, office support and transportation. Tourism in Phoenix has also flourished in recent years, so this is another good area to find work.

Finding a job in Phoenix

Jobseekers can consult online job portals, social networks such as LinkedIn and local classifieds, or enlist the help of an agency. If already in Phoenix, new arrivals may find the classified sections of online newspaper sites useful, and it's always a good idea to ask around the neighbourhood or your network to find out if anyone knows of an opening.

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Work culture in Phoenix

Naturally, work culture differs from one company to another. With the influx of modern technology companies and digital media enterprises, many employers in Phoenix offer their employees certain perks to allow them to strike a healthier work-life balance and generally become more productive workers. Policies such as flexible working hours, working from home and job sharing are now commonplace in Phoenix.

The general working environment in Phoenix is known for being less cut-throat and competitive than in other prominent economic hubs such as New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, and employees in Phoenix report experiencing relatively high levels of job satisfaction and security.

Many companies across industries such as health, education and technology also offer their workers educational support and opportunities for career progression, which are important factors for staff retention. While salaries in Phoenix may be slightly less than the national average, this seems to be a fairly minor trade-off considering the other lifestyle benefits awarded to workers.

On the whole, Phoenix is a great place for those starting out in their careers or those looking to take a step back and enjoy a better work-life balance that affords them more quality time with family. Thanks to the city's business incentives, it is also a great place for entrepreneurs.

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