Working in Phoenix?
Working in Phoenix
The Local Economy
The major industries in Phoenix include agricultural products, electronics, government and aerospace technology. Tourism is also a big contributor to the economy here. At the end of 2013 almost 13% of employees in Arizona were working for the government and the unemployment rate was at 7.6%, which was above the national rate of 6.7%. Phoenix is home to some Fortune 500 companies, which include: Avnet, the electronics corporation; Republic Services, the waste hauler; and pet retailer PetSmart.
Intel have their second largest site here, which has around 12,000 members of staff, and Phoenix is headquarters of rental and moving supply company U-Haul International. Regional airline Mesa Air Group also has its headquarters in Phoenix.
Hard working and skilled expats should have no problem gaining employment in Phoenix, and with an economy that is on the up this can only lead to more opportunities arising. Top employment opportunities in Phoenix are usually found in:
- Office and administrative support jobs
- Food prep and food serving jobs
- Transportation, haulage occupations
Income Taxation in Phoenix
Both non-residents and residents that are working in Arizona will pay state income tax, in addition to the federal income tax. In order to work out this tax, you will have to make additions and subtractions to your gross income to find out what your taxable income is. For example, if you receive interest income from municipal bonds that are not from Arizona, this will be classed as additional income. Any social security benefits you may receive will result in you having a deduction made from your income for state tax purposes.
Taxpayers in Arizona can itemize or take a standard deduction. Only one personal exemption per taxpayer is allowed. If there are qualifying dependents, some taxpayers are able to take additional exemptions.
Each year on the 1st January the minimum hourly rate of pay in Arizona is increased. The increase for 2015 resulted in the minimum wage in Arizona being 8.05 USD per hour.
Job Hunting in Phoenix
Many expats who relocate to Phoenix have done so because of a transfer within their company. For those who need to find a new job, there are several ways to do this.
There are several local newspapers with jobs advertised, such as The Phoenix New Times and The Arizona Republic. However, job ads in local papers won’t usually advertise professional positions. For those who are looking for highly paid skilled and professional positions with top line companies, one of the following options may be better suited.
There are many websites where you can look for open positions or even register your details, CV and salary requirements so headhunters and potential employers can get in touch with some. Jobs in Phoenix are, for example, advertised on
Considering that a multitude of positions are not openly advertised in the US, applying directly can often be a success. Check out the website of any company you could see yourself working for to see what vacancies they may have. Even if they do not advertise any open positions, handing in your application may still be worth a try. Many companies like this approach, as it shows confidence.
Networking can be key in getting a job in the US and job fairs are one possible place for expats to meet prospective employers or agents representing them. Even if you are not yet living Phoenix, there may well be networking events at the US embassy in your home country, so make sure to inform yourself. After all, getting your name out there can open up lots of job opportunities.
Important Information for Employees in Arizona
Most employers in Arizona should pay you:
- at least twice a month, and
- no longer than 16 days apart.
If you get paid by direct bank transfer or a payroll debit card, you should still receive a payslip detailing earnings and deductions.
If your employment is terminated, your employer must pay you all the wages you are owed within seven working days, or if it is sooner on the next regular pay day.
When it comes to overtime, all employers are required to pay employees 1.5 times their regular hourly rate of pay for all hours they have worked over 40 hours in a working week.