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The recession was tough on everyone, from big and small employers and employees, to the unemployed and those searching for a career change. Whether or not you were directly impacted from bleak economy woes, chances are you felt the recession in some way, shape or form with everyday things like the cost of food, gas and utilities.

Now that the nation’s economy is on the upswing, so is the job growth in the Phoenix-Mesa region. The unemployment rate steadily declined in the last half of 2011, starting at 8.7 percent in July and ending at 7.9 percent in December.

34,600 Jobs in the Phoenix Area for 2012

Not every industry reported huge job growth, but a strong trend is evident: a positive projection as economists predicted an additional 34,600 jobs in the Phoenix area for 2012.  The trade, transportation and utilities industries came out on top with 365,000 jobs in December 2011, and the professional and business services sectors ranked second with 273,000 jobs. But it was the education and health services sectors, with 259,000 jobs, that showed great promise for the Phoenix area with a projected number of 9,800 more jobs in 2012. Here’s why:

  • Phoenix has posted the nation’s second highest rate of job growth in private education and health service sectors.
  • Phoenix’s population has grown dramatically in the last five years causing the private education and health services sectors to make up 15 percent of the city’s overall market.
  • Private education is soaring due to Arizona’s three public universities unable to accommodate the growing population.
  • As the student population continues to grow, so does the need for more professors, staff and faculty.
  • The increase in population also directly affects the need for additional health services when it comes to doctors, dentists, pharmacists and nurses—specifically physical therapists with certifications to work with patients with heart and vascular ailments.

Here is a look at other industries and how many jobs they ended with in 2011:

  • Construction: 81,900
  • Manufacturing: 112,000
  • Information: 27,800
  • Financial Activities: 140,600
  • Leisure and Hospitality: 179,500
  • Government: 237,000
  • Mining and Lodging: 3,100

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