With a population of nearly 450,000 people, Mesa, a suburb approximately 20 miles east of Phoenix, is Arizona's third largest city behind Phoenix and Tucson. The city's history dates back almost 2,000 years when the Hohokam people arrived. The Hohokam built an elaborate canal system that turned the Sonoran Desert into a vibrant agricultural center. Modern Mesa was originally settled by Mormon pioneers led by Daniel Webster Jones and incorporated in 1883.
Today, the city is a center of higher learning and aerospace technology. Because of its highly educated workforce, the city offers a wide variety of cultural opportunities including museums, theatres, and galleries, as well as expansive public parks and libraries. Mesa's public school system is well-regarded in the state.
Those looking for jobs in Mesa, AZ will find the cost of living just slightly lower than the national average and lower than the average cost for the state. The median home price is $162,200 compared to the national median of $181,400. Median household income is $49,233 while the national figure is $53,046.
Mesa Job Opportunities
Many Mesa, AZ jobs are in education. Residents looking for education jobs in Mesa can choose from the public school system as well as learning institutions such as Mesa Community College and a branch of Arizona State University.
The largest sources of Mesa jobs come from major employers such as Banner Health Systems, Boeing, city and Maricopa County government, Wal-Mart and Fry's Food and Drug. Mesa is also famous for its lush golf courses and world-class restaurants. Hospitality and food service are two sectors that offer reliable opportunities for employment.
As a Phoenix suburb, Mesa residents often find lucrative opportunities for jobs in Phoenix. In exchange for a short commute, citizens of Mesa have access to careers at four Fortune 500 companies, in addition to the corporate headquarters of the Best Western hotel chain and US Airways.
Mesa Employment Trends
As of July 2014, the unemployment rate in Mesa was 5.9 percent, slightly below the national rate of 6.3 percent. According to Forbes, job growth in 2013 was 2.5 percent, slightly above the national rate, and was expected to hit 2.7 percent in 2015.
Industry sectors expected to have greater than average growth and employment opportunities in Mesa include healthcare (the city is building three new hospitals), which employs about 12 percent of Mesa residents; aerospace, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of Mesa jobs; and technology.