With more people moving to Arizona, the need for service industries has climbed. Restaurants, retail establishments and service places like car dealerships, auto repair and grocery stores are being built and hiring at a high pace. This creation of jobs has put the July 2006 unemployment rate at 4.7%, which is just under the national average of 4.8%.
With the creation of 106K jobs in 2004, the battle for qualified workers, earning have increased 2.7% between the years 2003-2004. With the baby boomers moving steadily to the Southwest, the jobs will continue to grow and improve the area economically.
Education remains a constant in Arizona. Testing has shown that 70% of 4th graders passed math requirements in 2003 and 2005. In reading, the numbers were 54% passing in 2003 and 52% in 2005. The eight graders fared a little worse with 61% for 2003 and 64% for 2005 in Math. The reading scores were 66% and 65% for the years 2003 and 2005, respectively. There are 2,047 schools total that spent $6,465 per student in 2005-2006. The graduation rate is 81%.