Mesa considered a bright spot for job growth

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- On and around Main Street Mesa, job growth is brewing.

“There are a lot of independent places opening up; that’s more opportunities for people like myself,” said Shelby Pecar, who was just hired at Lost Dutchman Coffee a couple of weeks ago.

“I don’t know how many copies of my resume I passed out, or how many times I revised it,” said Pecar, who estimates she applied to up to 20 places.

“It’s getting a little better, but it’s still pretty tough,” she told 3TV.

Economists agree, but say Mesa may be a bright spot. A survey by “WalletHub” just named Mesa as the 9th best U.S. city, if you’re looking for work. Phoenix ranked number 14.

“We’ve been one of the nation’s growth leaders in terms of job creation for the last several years,” said Dennis Hoffman, Professor of Economics at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

However, Hoffman says the nation’s job growth overall is still slow. Locally, he sees bright spots in fields including financial services, hospitality and construction.

City leaders in Mesa have made a special effort to target industries including healthcare, education, aerospace and aviation, tourism, and now technology too.

The city manager says the area’s infrastructure, land and growing population have allowed them to court big names, such as Apple. Apple is taking over the old First Solar factory at Elliot and Signal Butte. It is expected to hire 700 new employees.

Other top employers in Mesa including Banner Health Systems (9,573), Mesa Public Schools (8,770), Boeing (4,086), and Maricopa County Government (2,644), according to a city spokesperson.

“There’s more opportunity here,” said Leslie Barcoo, who just moved to Mesa from San Diego.

“They have well- paying jobs out here, too. I just haven’t found one yet,” said Barcoo after waiting for hours Monday afternoon in line at the Department of Economic Security. However, she’s optimistic about her future.

“Within a year or two, I’m guaranteed a nice place and car,” she said. “I’m guaranteed to have a good job, a house and car.”

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