13,900 jobs added to Arizona economy as technology booms

Over the past year, Arizona has been a hot spot for technology and business expansion. With the national eye watching what’s brewing in the Valley of the Sun, companies large and small have chosen to expand in a hotbed of new innovation, bringing both jobs and investments with them.
According to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona tied for second with Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah in the largest July 2014 percentage increase in employment at 0.5 percent.
In addition, between June 2014 and July 2014, the state added 13,900 jobs to come out to a total of 2,572,500 jobs in July. The summer growth is an encouraging 23.2 percent of the total jobs added to the Arizona economy between July 2013 and July 2014.
Here’s a look at some of the firms contributing to Arizona’s job growth.
GM logoGM
General Motors unveiled its new Information and Technology Innovation Center last Friday in Chandler, Arizona. The center, which is designed to in-source GM’s innovation strategies and IT talent, is expected to add 1,000 jobs over the next five years, according a statement by the automotive company. As of now, 500 people are employed at the center with 25 percent of whom being recent college graduates.
The Innovation Center is part of a companywide initiative to improve performance and innovation while reducing the cost of operations, according to a statement by GM. The automotive company has been rocked by a series of recalls, congressional committee hearings and a federal investigation.
gt technologiesGT Advanced Technology
It’s that time of the year again; summer is winding down, school is back in session and what used to be whispers of the iPhone 6 have grown into a mob filled with anticipation.
Last fall, it was announced that Apple Inc. would be opening a manufacturing facility in partnership with GT Advanced Technology to produce its sapphire materials in Mesa, Arizona. The deal was a score for Arizona since it brought nearly 700 new permanent jobs and an additional 1,300 construction jobs to the Valley.
Besides cultivating interest from well-established organizations, Arizona has also caught the eye of Silicon Valley up-comers looking to expand their operations. Here’s a look at who has flocked to the Valley of the Sun in recent months.
Prosper.com logo
Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending site out of San Francisco, announced in June that it would open its new office in Phoenix. The new office, which is the first to be opened outside of Prosper’s Bay Area headquarters, is located in near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and is expected to employ 150 people in the future.
Arizona greeted another Silicon Valley affiliate with a warm welcome when Reputation.com announced in June that it would expand its operations to a 20,000-square foot facility in Tempe. As a leading provider in online reputation management and privacy services, Reputation.com is set to hire 150 employees by 2015.
June continued to be a big month for both Phoenix and its growing technology sector. Weebly, a global website builder out of the Bay Area, signed a five-year lease for a 25,000-square-foot office in Scottsdale, Arizona. The office is set to serve as the North American customer operations headquarters for the company, which currently has over 20 million users around the world. Besides adding 250 new positions, Weebly is expected to have an economic impact of $256 million during its 5-year term, according to an analysis by the City of Scottsdale.
New Gigya logo crop
Mountain View, Calif.-based tech company Gigya, which offers high-tech data collection and analysis for some of the world’s largest brands, opened a satellite office in Phoenix last November. The CityNorth office is expected to bring 200 high-wage jobs over the next three years. Gigya specializes in connecting brands with socially-minded consumers through its Connected Social Management Suite, which features products such as Social Login, Registrations-as-a-Service, Social Plugins and Gamifications.
What to watch: Tesla
Since Tesla Motors announced that it would choose a location to build its “Gigafactory” earlier this year, Arizona has been carefully watching as the luxury, environmentally-friendly automaker as it’s been scouting possible locations and pushing both the state and other hopeful candidates to the edge of their seats with anticipation.
If Arizona were selected as the official hub for the Gigafactory, a stream of investments ranging from $4-5 billion by Tesla and its partners would course through the state and into the new facility. With that, the factory could house nearly 6,500 employees.
Read more about Arizona tech jobs here