Resurgent Hiring in Industrial Trades a Bright Spot, Though Elevated Vacancy Weighs on Rents, Operations

Improvements in blue-collar industries account for a significant share of Phoenix economic growth in 2011, despite choppy early year hiring. Total metro employment grew by 0.9%, or 14,900 positions. Manual-trade payrolls, in contrast, expanded by a healthy-1.1% year to date with the addition of 3,800 workers. The Valley’s manufacturing sector notched the most hires, adding 2,500 employees and offsetting the combined loss of 700 construction and transportation and utilities personnel through the second quarter. Moreover, major expansions by companies such as Federal Express, First Solar and Easy Energy Systems Inc. will boost the economy and leasing in the near term. Through the extended outlook, sales tax legislation may push more companies like Amazon to relocate from California to Arizona, further supporting industrial space demand. Although international and domestic concerns could dampen growth in the second half, the economic recovery is expected to gain momentum. Metr owide staffing levels will increase by a projected 39,000 positions, or 2.3%, in 2011, while blue-collar industries will add 12,500 workers, a 3.7% increase. National payrolls will rise by 1.65 million positions, or 1.3%

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