High school dropouts are costing Arizona more than $7 billion, according to a new report from the state's mayors.

Several mayors gathered at a Phoenix high school Wednesday and released the report, which indicates dropouts may lead to the spending of $7.6 billion within those students' lifetimes.

The Arizona Republic said dropouts are less likely find steady work and instead engage in criminal activity or use public assistance, according to the report.

The California Dropout Research Project oversaw the report using data from the Arizona Department of Education, the U.S. Census and a recent university study.

The report focused on Phoenix and six nearby suburbs as well as three rural areas.

The mayors say they would like to see businesses in these communities build relationships with local schools.