Phoenix is a Top 5 Market for New College Grads

We’re trendy. We have lots of good jobs. And our pricey apartments remain less expensive than those in most other major metropolitan areas.

State of play: Phoenix ranked fourth behind Colorado Springs, Colorado; Spokane, Washington; and Des Moines, Iowa.

Why it matters: Political, business and university leaders have spent the past decade trying to transform Phoenix into a place where university-educated people wanted to stay post-graduation.

Flashback: In 2011, an economist for the Board of Regents said more than half of graduates from Arizona universities left the state within two decades because there weren’t career advancement opportunities.

Zoom in: The Great Recession hit metro Phoenix hard because the majority of our jobs were tied up in construction and other volatile industries. The state has tried to reconfigure its economy with more resilient and higher paying industries like advanced manufacturing and health care.

  • Those efforts appear to have paid off — Phoenix had more job openings for college graduates than any other market that Zillow studied.

The intrigue: Phoenix was one of only two major metros to make the list, with the other being Portland, Oregon.

  • Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud tells us more young people are opting for smaller markets with good jobs but a lower cost of living.

By the numbers: In Des Moines, for example, the typical new graduate would have to spend about 24% of their income on rent.

  • In Phoenix, 37% of their paychecks would go toward rent — the highest rent-to-income ratio of any market to make Zillow’s ranking.

Of note: The rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your income on ho

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