Two More Ways Phoenix Can Brag
It's been a good week for Phoenix, with two shots in the economic development arm. First, we've jumped five spots to No. 3 in Forbes' annual list of fastest-growing cities, coming just behind Austin, Texas and Raleigh, NC. Forbes cited an estimate population growth of 1.67% for last year and projected growth of 2.46% in 2014; now the city's poised to be the fourth fastest-growing metro area by population this year. (Don't mind us as we frolic in these accolades and 85-degree sunshine.) It reports our median pay is $64,200, while unemployment clocks in at 6.4%.
Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO Barry Broome jokes that the harsh winter across the US is the reason Phoenix's population is growing so quickly. (The Ohio native is no stranger to snow, though.) Kidding aside, he expects more announcements this year along the lines of State Farm's expansion, as well as more regional HQ deals. The Valley is seeing strong growth from solar and alternative energy, software development, cybersecurity, telecom—"basically, all things Internet," he says—financial services, and general manufacturing industries.
No wonder Leclerc Foods USA wants to expand here. Late last week, the Quebec-based cookie, snack bar, and cracker manufacturer announced it's jumped into Phoenix with the acquisition of a 167k SF building at the Freeport Business Center, boosting its food manufacturing ops. (What can we say, it's a delicious deal.) It's a strategic play for the company, according to prez Denis Leclerc, because it will help it better serve markets like the West Coast, Mexico, and South America. (Not to mention it'll add up to 100 new jobs.)