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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Lack of jobs hurts Tucson’s reputation

According to WalletHub’s “2015’s Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job,” Tucson ranks at the bottom of the list for worst cities as 143 out of 150 surveyed cities.

Susan Miller-Pinhey, the marketing and special events manager at UA Career Services, said it all depends on perspective.

“Everything I’ve read and all the contact I’ve had with various employers within the city of Tucson is very upbeat and positive,” said Miller-Pinhey. “A lot is happening right here. Anyone that’s been to Tucson or spends time here is enthusiastic about the city.”

According to the WalletHub website, “In order to assess the relative strength of local job markets, WalletHub analyzed 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 16 key metrics [ranging] from job opportunities to employment growth.”

Tucson was ranked lowest in Arizona, accompanied by Gilbert as one of the only cities to rank higher than 100.

“There are a lot of opportunities if you look on Wildcat JobLink,” Miller-Pinhey said. “[There are] a lot of employers — including new employers and startups — that are really excited about being here.”

WalletHub’s “Job Market” Rank for Tucson, 147 out of 150 cities, computes factors such as employment growth, monthly median starting salary, industry variety and the unemployment rate for high school and college  graduates. The “Socio-Economic Environment” Rank considers as a part of its criteria each city’s affordable housing, median annual income and crime rate, for which Tucson ranks 104.

“I think Tucson is rated low for job opportunities because Tucson has a lot of local businesses,” said Andrea MacMeans, an elementary education junior. “I don’t think employers have the income … or the need for people to be hired.”

MacMeans has been working at Harbor Freight Tools for almost a year-and-a-half. She explained that finding the job was easy, because she’s from Tucson and has access to off-campus jobs.

“I think it is important that a college town has job opportunities, because most students need jobs during and after school,” MacMeans said.

According to the WalletHub report, almost 80 percent of employment recruiters aim to hire graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree in the coming year, while “a record two-thirds plan to raise starting salaries by an average of 3.7 percent for Class of 2015 graduates with bachelor’s degrees.”

“We think there’s a lot of opportunity in Tucson, and we’re working with employers all the time in order to extend and increase the number of opportunities for [UA] students,” Miller-Pinhey said. “We’re very excited about the opportunities that students have here at the university and also in the general area.”

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Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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