Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Thursday, September 06, 2007





Arizona second in job growth

More students filling positions in the Valley, career expert says

 by Dan O'Connor
 published on Thursday, September 6, 2007

<b>ECONOMICS:</b> Tracy Clark, associate director of the Economic Outlook Center, sits in his office Wednesday. Clark is the editor of the Arizona Blue Chip Economic Forecast./issues/news/701626
Chelsea Kent / THE STATE PRESS
ECONOMICS: Tracy Clark, associate director of the Economic Outlook Center, sits in his office Wednesday. Clark is the editor of the Arizona Blue Chip Economic Forecast.


Arizona ranks second in the nation in job growth, and a growing number of ASU graduates are filling the local positions provided, one University faculty member said.

The Arizona Blue Chip Economic Forecast, released through the W.P. Carey School of Business, reported that Arizona holds a 3.7 percent job growth rate from July 2006 to July 2007. Utah was first in job growth.

Arizona was first in job growth during the same period last year with a 5.4 percent rate.

But the rate decrease is relative to a drop in national economic growth over the last year, said Tracy Clark, associate director of the Economic Outlook Center and editor of the Arizona Blue Chip Economic Forecast.

"Relatively speaking, we're doing well, but everyone's job growth has slowed," Clark said. "We're doing better in the nation as a whole."

Arizona maintained bragging rights in some areas, even though others have suffered due to miscellaneous factors, he said.

Statewide business services created 20,200 new jobs over 12 months, the highest number of jobs created in the national economy, according to the forecast.

Although the forecast does not relate directly to ASU graduate job placement, Clark said it is likely that a lot of these individuals are filling the spots that are open.

"There is a large percent [of ASU graduates] that take jobs in Arizona � big surprise," he said. "The average market is looking anywhere and everywhere."

But a rapidly growing number of ASU students are accepting jobs in the Valley, said Elaine Stover, associate director of Career Services at ASU.

"In the past, less than 50 percent of students would end up with a job locally," Stover said. "But I'd say that at least 60 to 70 percent stay and I'm sure that number will rise."

The escalating numbers may be attributed to the locality of the job market, she said, but other factors also play a part.

"Once [ASU students] establish and develop contacts, they are more likely to get a job around here," Stover said. "More and more students are being recruited in the area because ASU is pushing for more employment in Arizona."

Business finance junior Patrick Luther said he recently started an internship for a local commercial real estate company and was prompted to stay close to home in his first interview with the business.

"One of the first questions was 'do you want to stay in the Valley? Is that where you want to be in 10 years?'" he said. "I said yes and I'm personally really excited and sure that this is where I want to be."

Luther said the majority of his friends are looking into local employment options. He said he attributes the quality experience he received from local corporations to his decision to stay.

"I think you can work for a big corporation and you can live wherever you want," he said. "But for a lot of people, they leave and come back because there are so many opportunities here."

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