The RetailWorks AZ initiative, funded by Walmart, supports the important role the retail sector plays in Arizona’s economy and in the lives of many Arizonans, whose first job experience and skills are often acquired in retail. This initiative is the first of its kind for the Greater Phoenix area and has great potential to be a model nationally for how a region can tap into the economic development opportunities that come from leveraging the retail industry.
Retail represents 1 in 4 jobs in the United States. In the Greater Phoenix area, retail is the third largest employment sector after Government and Healthcare employing more than 234,000 Arizonans providing almost 12% of all jobs in the region. The sector contributed just under $16 billion to the gross regional product in 2015, which is comparable to the manufacturing, finance and healthcare sectors.
In 2019 the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) updated the original 2016 landscape analysis of the retail sector in the Greater Phoenix area. ACA examined the value of the retail sector to the Phoenix economy, wages, competitive position vis a vis comparable MSA’s and health of the sector and recovery from the recession. Key findings highlight the significance of retail in terms of gross regional product and jobs. According to the ACA, retail jobs in the state’s largest MSA, Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, had a 14.1 percent growth rate between 2010 and 2018.
The Center for the Future of Arizona brings education and training together to strengthen Arizona’s talent pipeline for essential sectors like retail.
AZRetailCareers.com is Arizona’s only targeted retail sector-focused resource for information and tools for job seekers, frontline workers, retail employers and workforce development professionals.