FILE - Phoenix skyline at dusk

Phoenix Arizona with its downtown lit by the last rays of sun at the dusk.

The Phoenix metro area added the largest percentage employment increase in the nation last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Phoenix metro area, which includes Mesa and Scottsdale, added 66,500 non-farm jobs from May 2018 to May 2019.

The 3.2 percent job growth was the highest percentage growth for a metro area with over a 1 million person population. 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey touted the numbers in a news release, citing pro-growth policies.

“Arizona is open for business and our economy is booming,” he said. “It’s not by accident: Arizona’s pro-business policies, low taxes and light regulations are delivering more job opportunities and bigger paychecks for Arizona workers.”

The Phoenix area has seen a 17.3 percent employment increase in the past five years and a 24.3 percent increase over the past decade, according to the BLS.

Education and health services, construction and professional services were the top three sectors adding jobs.

On Monday, WalletHub released a study ranking Arizona as the seventh best state for starting a business. 

The state has added 300,000 jobs since 2015 and projects to add 165,000 by next year, according to the governor’s office. 

Arizona also had the fourth-best gross domestic product growth in the nation last year.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.