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Phoenix tops lists of cities stealing jobs from Wall Street

This Monday, July 15, 2013 file photo shows the American flag and Wall St. street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

PHOENIX -- A new survey by Forbes magazine said the Phoenix area leads the list of cities that are taking financial jobs away from Wall Street.

The number of financial jobs in Phoenix jumped over 7 percent last year and over 12 percent since 2008.

Joel Kotkin conducted the study for Forbes. He said that because of the Internet, companies and financial workers no longer have to remain in New York, Boston, San Francisco or other financial bastions. He said that they can now move to cities with more sun -- and lower costs.

Phoenix has the advantage of having both.

"My $150,000-a-year salary in Phoenix buys me an upper-middle class lifestyle," said Kotkin. "In New York, it basically puts me next to the homeless guy by Grand Central Station."

Kotkin thinks the trend of more financial workers moving to Phoenix will continue, but that the Valley needs to attract more high-end jobs.

"You don't want to just be customer service," Kotkin said. "That's great to have those jobs, but can you do more sophisticated functions?"

According to Forbes, San Antonio, Tex., Austin, Tex. and Nashville, Tenn., are other cities that are luring financial jobs away from New York.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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