By Parket Leavitt for The Arizona Republic
The lowest unemployment rate among Valley cities with at least 25,000 residents comes from what might be a surprising source – Queen Creek.
The fast-growing East Valley town posted 4.4 percent unemployment in July and has averaged 4 percent for the year, the lowest in the entire Phoenix metro area, according to the Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics.
Out of about 14,600 Queen Creek residents within the town’s workforce, just 649 reported being unemployed as of July, according to the state.
Queen Creek Assistant Town Manager Bruce Gardner attributed the low rate in part to the town’s well-educated workforce and high median household income, which the U.S. Census Bureau says is about $83,700 — 68 percent higher than the state overall.
About 37 percent of Queen Creek residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to about 27 percent statewide, according to the census.
East Valley posts strongest numbers
Gilbert came in at number two among Valley cities with a 4.5 percent unemployment rate in July and 4.1 percent for the year. Scottsdale was third best, followed by Chandler and Fountain Hills.
The East Valley is home to some of the state’s largest employers, including Intel in Chandler, Arizona State University in Tempe and Boeing in Mesa.
Peoria is tops in West Valley
West Valley cities tend to lag with higher unemployment numbers, and Peoria was the only city in this region with a better rate than Phoenix.
Unemployment has hovered around 4.7 percent in Peoria this year and came in at 5.3 percent in July, according to state statistics.
Read more at The Arizona Republic