Arizona ranks 4th in the nation for GDP growth

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According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Arizona’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased by four percent in 2018, the fourth fastest growth rate in the nation. Arizona’s GDP growth outpaced that of 46 other states including California (3.5%), Florida (3.5%), and Texas (3.2%). Sectors including construction, health care, and social assistance; finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and administrative and waste management service contributed the most to Arizona’s GDP growth over the last year.

“A growing economy means more job opportunities, bigger paychecks for Arizonans and more investments in the things that matter, like education, child safety and public safety,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “Our growth continues to be driven by Arizona’s hardworking employees, job creators and innovators. We remain focused on creating the best economic environment and ensuring sustainable, responsible growth.”

Not only is Arizona’s economy growing at one of the fastest rates in the nation, Arizona’s median household incomes recently reached a record high of $61,125. Arizona also recently ranked third in the U.S. for economic momentumfourth for population growth and fifth for personal income growth. Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest county, led the nation with the largest population increase of any county in the nation in 2018.

More than 298,000 new jobs have been added in Arizona since 2015, and the state is projected to add another 165,000 new jobs by 2020.

Read More: AZ GDP growth

6 Cover Letter Tips & Tricks

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Think no one reads a cover letter? Wrong. The small things really do make a difference. Read The Temp Connection’s Cover Letter tips and tricks below:

1.     Send a customized cover letter for each application you submit. 

The letter can be similar to other jobs you have applied to, but you want to change the company name and job title in each cover letter. You also want to show that you have done some research on the company and why you would make a great fit. Complete the statement “I like your company because….”. Compliment the organization on what they have done right and what you admire about them. This shows you’ve done your research and that you’re already invested.

2.     Make sure you connect the skills and experiences… not necessarily your education.

Try matching your skills to the qualifications listed in the job description. Make it easy for them by highlighting exactly what they are looking for. New grads, especially, often make the mistake of over-focusing on their educational backgrounds. At the end of the day, what hiring managers care about most is your work experience and what you can walk through the door and deliver on day one.

3.     Don’t apologize for your missing experience. 

When you don’t meet all of the job requirements, it’s tempting to use lines like, “Despite my limited experience as a manager…” or “While I may not have direct experience in advertising…” But why apologize? Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, emphasize the strengths and transferable skills you do have.

Here’s what that might look like: “I’m excited to translate my experience in [what you’ve done in the past] to a position that’s more [what you’re hoping to do next].”

4.     Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume. 

Don’t make it terribly long and just repeat what you have on your resume. Less is more! Get right to the point. You only need three to four paragraphs with three to four sentences each. Discuss your soft skills and strengths, and discuss what makes you passionate about your career and this particular position.

5.     Keep it conversational and show your personality off.

We can’t tell you how many cover letters we’ve seen from people who are “absolutely thrilled for the opportunity” or “very excitedly applying!” Yes, you want to show personality, creativity, and excitement. But downplay the adverbs a bit, and just write like a normal person. This is the opportunity to slightly brag about yourself and mention achievements that didn’t make it into your resume!

6.     EDIT!

We shouldn’t have to tell you to run your cover letter through spell-check (you should!), but remember that having your computer scan for typos isn’t the same as editing. Set your letter aside for a day or even a few hours, and then read through it again with fresh eyes—you’ll probably notice some changes you want to make. Keep an eye out for small mistakes that spell-check can’t catch, such as “manger” in place of “manager.”

Tip: Have a friend take a look at your cover letter. Ask him or her two questions: Does this sell me as the best person for the job? and Does it get you excited? If the answer to either is “no,” or even if you receive a little hesitation, go back for another rewrite.  Remember, one spelling or grammar mistake can be all it takes to turn off the hiring manager—especially if writing skills are an important part of the role you’re applying for.


Elliana Vaughn joined The Temp Connection team in February 2017. She currently serves The Temp Connection as a Recruiter and Sales & Marketing Coordinator. She can be reached via email at

Arizona Becomes First State To Establish Universal Recognition Of Occupational Licenses

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Governor Doug Ducey, joined by Representative Warren Petersen, Arizona legislators, members of the business community and many more, signed H.B. 2569, making Arizona the first state in the country to recognize occupational licenses for new residents. 

Arizona is ranked a top-three state for economic momentum and the fourth-fastest growing state in the country. Yet as new residents move here, they often face daunting hurdles imposed by state government to start a job, even though they were licensed, trained and qualified for the same job in another state.

To help these new Arizonans get to work faster, Arizona’s licensing boards and commissions will now be required to recognize occupational licenses granted in other states during the licensing process, something already done for spouses of military personnel deployed to Arizona. The bill ensures public health and safety protections for jobs that require background checks or other safety requirements.

“With this bill, Arizona’s sending a clear message to people across the country: if you’re moving to Arizona, there’s opportunity waiting for you here,” said Governor Ducey. “There’s dignity in all work. And we know that whether you make your living as a plumber, a barber, a nurse or anything else, you don’t lose your skills simply because you moved here. The bill we signed today protects public health and safety while eliminating unnecessary and costly red tape. It’s an Arizona original and should be a model for other states for how to work together and do the things that matter.”

Governor Ducey made passing universal recognition of occupational licenses a top priority in his State of the State address, saying, “100,000 people will move here this year. There’s a job available for every one of them.”

Read More: AZ Universal Recognition Of Occupational Licenses

Forecast: Arizona To Add More Than 165,000 New Jobs By 2020

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The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity released a report projecting Arizona will add 165,691 jobs over a two-year period. From the third quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2020, Arizona’s employment is expected to increase from 3,015,242 to 3,180,933, representing an annualized growth rate of 2.7 percent — an increase from last year’s projection of 2.6 percent and more evidence of Arizona’s continued acceleration over the last 12 months.

Arizona is projected to see the highest job growth rates in Construction (5.8 percent) and Manufacturing (3.6 percent). The largest job gains are expected in the Education and Health Services (37,126 jobs) and the Professional and Business Services (26,177 jobs) sectors, although gains are projected across all 11 of Arizona’s top industries.

In addition to the projected job growth, Arizona also saw positive gains in its median household income from 2016 to 2017, according to data from the United States Census Bureau. Arizona’s median household income rose 4.8 percent — more than double the national growth rate of 1.8 percent. According to the data, Arizona’s median household income reached $61,125, a record high.

“Arizona’s economy is booming,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Not only is Arizona projected to add 165,000 jobs over the next two years, Arizona families are taking home more dollars and incomes are rising at one of the fastest rates in the country. This is positive news that affects our entire state — and we have Arizona’s hard-working entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees to thank. We will continue to focus on advancing Arizona’s business-friendly environment to bring even more jobs and opportunity to our state.”

Read more: AZ Forecast 

5 Tips for After Your Interview

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So you were invited to interview for your dream job! I’m sure you spent quite a bit of time picking out an outfit to wear and researching the company/position beforehand. After the interview, you think you did a pretty darn good job! What’s next?

What you do after the interview can make as much of a difference as what you do during the interview. Don’t miss these key steps to making a positive, memorial impression, and hopefully, getting a job offer.

1. Get Their Contact Information

The first most important thing you can do during an interview is asking for your interviewer’s contact information. Even if it’s awkward, you are meeting this person and you never know how your paths might cross in the future.

So, after interviewing, ask your contact for a business card. If they don’t have a card handy, ask for their email address and write it down.

2. Send a Thank You Email Immediately

A simple ‘thank you’ email can make a huge difference and differentiate you from other candidates. So many people forget about this one really simple last step, and therefore, the candidates that take the time to do this really stand out of the crowd!

The best way to follow up is to send an e-mail within 24 hours after the interview. Reiterate why you’re the best choice for the job and thank them for taking the time to interview you. Even if you aren’t interested in moving forward with that position/company, I’d still suggest sending a simple “thank you” email. You never know what affiliations that company has, or what contacts are in the interviewer’s network. This simple step may benefit you in the future.

3. Send a Thank You Letter

To show the interviewer how serious you are, utilize snail mail. While emails and phone calls can occasionally come across as somewhat cold forms of communication, handwritten notes are warm. In your note, thank them for their time and address a few things you discussed in the interview. Make sure to tailor the letter to each company.

Typically “snail mail” will take 2+ days to be delivered. This will bring their attention back to you, and give them an opportunity to recollect their thoughts regarding your interview and qualifications.

4. Keep Notes

After the interview, write down who you met with and the date of the meeting, what you talked about, what you learned, your impressions, and any concerns you have. It’s important to keep track and to stay organized with the contacts you made.

5. Call for a Status Check

Contact your recruiter! Ask if they can provide you with any feedback and/or coaching so you can fine-tune your interviewing skills.

We hope you can utilize this information in your job search! Check out The Temp Blog’s Coaching Corner next month for more tips & tricks.


Elliana Vaughn joined The Temp Connection team in February 2017. She currently serves The Temp Connection as a Recruiter and Sales & Marketing Coordinator. She can be reached via email at

Job Openings Reached 7.1 Million, Exceeding Number of Unemployed Americans

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When you look at the numbers, you can’t help but think everyone must be working and where are companies getting the new employees that they desperately need? U.S. employers posted the most jobs in two decades in August, and hiring also reached a record high as reported by Rugaber of The Associated Press. This means that companies are desperate to increase their payrolls in the midst of an unemployment rate of a nearly five-decade low of 3.7%. And yet, pay raises have still lagged behind. When will companies learn? What is holding companies back from increasing their starting pay of jobs they need to fill?

Average hourly earnings rose 2.8% in September compared with a year earlier. That’s higher than several years ago, but below the roughly 4% gain that is typical when unemployment is so low. Employers hired 5.78 million in August. About 5.71 million people lost or left their jobs, including 3.6 million who quit. The quits rate was unchanged at a 17-year high of 2.7% among private-sector employees according to Bartash of MarketWatch. The percentage of the workforce that found jobs in August ticked up to 3.9% from 3.8% in July. That matched an 11-year high first reached in May.

Job openings rose in August in professional and business services, which include mostly higher-paying positions in engineering, accounting and architecture as well as temporary help. Postings in that category jumped 27% from a year ago. Pay increases still need to happen here. Let’s move on to construction. Construction firms have been desperate for workers all year and currently the industry is posting 298,000 jobs. In Tucson, construction firms are having to hire 2 inexperienced workers for every opening that requires experienced workers since they can’t find them and then spend much of the time training.  Job openings also increased in government, financial services, and health care. Let’s finish with the trucking industry. Oh my, any drivers out there? At least this industry is paying more, some companies doubling the starting pay. Trucking fleets have added more than 33,000 jobs in the past 12 months according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall payrolls climbed to their highest level in more than a decade in September.

Anyway you look at it, if you want to work, there’s a job for you, maybe three or four jobs for you. Ask for an increase in starting pay and maybe you’ll get it. Something has to give.

How Will Employment Trends Affect the Staffing Business?

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American Staffing Association researchers, Nadareishvili and Poole, analyzed the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job growth projection and revealed the trends in job growth by sector and occupational group through 2026. The tight labor market, luke-warm economic growth and a rapidly aging population will continue to affect employment according to their observations and specifically job growth. How can staffing businesses respond? The top five sectors that are projected to be the best job growth potential are:

  • health care and social assistance–growth factors: aging population, longer life expectancies and growing rates of chronic conditions
  • professional and business services including employment services–growth factors: continued demand for information technology services and consulting as well as staffing services
  • state and local government–growth factors: enrollment rate increases in postsecondary education
  • leisure and hospitality–growth factors: increasing use of technology offset by growth in food services and drinking establishments (food and beverage industry)
  • retail trade–growth factors motor vehicle and parts dealer industry growth

Employment in the professional and business services sector is projected to grow from 20.1 million jobs in 2016 to nearly 22.3 million jobs in 2026. the expansion of jobs in this sector is being driven by four of the top 16 fastest growing industries overall: computer systems design and related services; management, scientific, and technical consulting; services to buildings and dwellings; employment services.

The employment services industry is the largest within the professional and business services sector accounting for nearly one-fifth of the sector’s labor forces with an annual rate of .5% from 2016 to  2026 with steady demand expected to continue. There will be an abundance of temporary, contract, and permanent employment opportunities for job seekers in the coming years, even with anticipated shifts in population demographics.

It’s a good time to be in the staffing business and we feel fortunate to be a part of this growing industry. By the way, we have jobs for job seekers. Just contact The Temp Connection. Referrals are appreciated. Do you know anyone looking for work? Are you looking for a job or a change in careers? With 25 years of industry experience, we’re here to help!


Thinking About Career Choices in the 4th Industrial Revolution

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A friend of mine sent me an article, knowing I’m in the staffing industry and that I routinely talk to job-seekers including young folk right out of college on career options as well as early retirees looking for a second career or a nice and interesting part-time job. After reading this article, I thought I’d share it giving food for thought on the future of work.

The article started out with the fall of Kodak (a household word), a large and profitable company with 170,000 employees in 1998 and selling 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 5-10 years and most of us won’t see it coming as we capture the moment with our IPhones and digital cameras. At first digital cameras were a disappointment with only 10,000 pixels but as with all exponential technologies, the digital camera became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again and faster with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. All in the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world although they don’t own any beds nor any property. AI: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers may be hunting for jobs. Because of IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice, mainly basic advice so far, within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Watson already helps doctors diagnosing cancer and treatment options, and it’s 4 times more accurate than humans only. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. Will computers become more intelligent than humans by 2030? What do you think? To be continued……

Job Market is Hot, Hot, Hot!

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Employers had more than six million job openings in September, twice as many as during the recession, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Voluntary quits set a monthly high, and the number of unemployed who are “discouraged” has declined steadily. Most job-seekers have a better chance of landing a good position these days, and job hunters with the right skills, especially in digital technology, have real power in today’s labor market as reported in Dallas Morning News by Joseph & Schnurman.

Surviving the Future in the Automation Age-A New Approach

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In reading a summary of a recent book by authors, Hess and Ludwig, entitled Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age, kind of a long title :-), I wanted to share the new skillset that they said would help one to survive and…drumroll please, the new skillset is called “NewSmart.” Before I explain what that is, here is why the authors say that this new skillset is necessary for survival and perhaps for job-protection. They cited research coming out of the University of Oxford that showed there is a high probability of 47% of jobs in the U.S. becoming automated over time. That’s over 70 million jobs lost. Nationwide, we will see millions of jobs replaced by automation such as smart robots, driverless cars, 3D manufacturing, artificial intelligence and smart machines over the next 15 years. That’s not that far away. Hence employees will have to learn new skills and new behaviors that machines cannot master. The NewSmart skill requires quieting the ego, better managing your thinking and emotions, and learning to reflectively listen. The authors go on to list the Seven Commandments that will help you Survive the Smart Machine Age. They are:

  • Become humble, because it’s not really all about you
  • Slow down and live in the moment
  • Think like a good scientist
  • Talk less, listen closer, and ask more questions
  • Have the courage to try
  • Manage your emotions
  • Embrace “Otherness” which is the science of how to connect, relate, and emotionally engage with other people

When these seven commandments are applied, Hess and Ludwig state that you will be able to achieve the type of excellence that makes you an indispensable leader and a better human being. You will become NewSmart. It’s worth a try.