A recent federal study, as reported in the Arizona Republic, notes that Maricopa County's workforce averages a slightly higher weekly wage than the rest of the nation, though it is toward the bottom of the top 10 counties by workforce size.
But as ASU researcher Tom Rex notes, employers are able to pay relatively less because people perceive Arizona as offering a higher quality of life.
Indeed, as part of that quality of life measure, in-migrants may see lower tax burdens (being able to keep and spend more of their income) as an important part of the desirability of different places. In The Tax Man and the Moving Van: Fiscal Policy and State Population Shifts, Senior Fellow Matthew Ladner finds a statistically significant relationship between population shifts between states and tax burdens, business climates as well as the cost of living.
Also, in "Valley must accentuate the positive," fiscal policy analyst Satya Thallam finds that Phoenix and Arizona are producing record population and job growth, placing Arizona among the top performing economies in the country.