State jobs report shows positive trends

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A state jobs forecast shows positive trends for Arizona over the next two years.

The report released by the Office of Employment and Population is showing gradual gains for 2014 and 2015.

"For the past two years, we have had the same growth rate -- over-the-year growth rate of about 2.1 percent -- and we expect to be the same this year," said Dr. Aruna Murthy, Director of Economic Analysis at the Office of Employment and Population.

That 2.1 percent growth rate translates to about 53,500 jobs statewide in 2014. More than 44,000 of those expected to be gained in the Valley.

"About 70 percent of the state's jobs are in the Phoenix MSA, so you run into a higher likelihood of finding a job if you are in this area just because there are more jobs in the area overall," Murthy said.

The numbers look even better for 2015 with a projected gain of 60,400 jobs statewide.

It is welcome news for weary job seekers.

So, what kind of jobs are these exactly?

The state breaks them down by industry.

Leading the projected gains with a total of 24,200 jobs over the next two years is the educational and health services industry.

"These type of jobs would be like doctor offices, dentist offices, nursing and residential care facilities," Murthy said.

Trade, transportation and utilities is second with 24,000 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality with 18,600 jobs.

The only forecasted cutbacks are in the government sector.

"Overall, there's nothing in the indicators that is of concern to me right now. Most of the trends are positive," she said.