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How Cost Of Living Plays Into Business' Decision To Move To Arizona

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Last month, a story made the rounds about an employee of Yelp who described the challenges she faced living in San Francisco, where the company is located, on her salary.

She then lost her job. The company said it was not because of her open letter to Yelp’s CEO. In addition, Yelp also announced it was moving some jobs to Arizona, where the cost of living is lower.

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said companies relocate to the Valley for lots of reasons, including costs.

"Companies come here because they can access talent, they can do so in an affordable way, and they can go to scale and we’re the next-door neighbor to one of the largest economies in the world," Camacho said.

Camacho believes the Valley will continue to grow high-wage jobs and said the region’s ability to grow should keep cost-of-living increases at bay, but Bob Grossfeld with the Arizona AFL-CIO said he doesn’t see a lot of new members moving here because of a lower cost of living.

How common is it for a business to move to a city because it has a lower cost of living? David Cooper, senior analyst at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., spoke about that. The group focuses on labor issues.

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.