By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment increased to 4.7 percent in September, up from 4.6 percent in July and August, according to the latest report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
The national rate dropped to 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent in August. Twelve months ago, the state had a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.7 percent, and the national was at 4.2.
The state had a net gain of 35,400 non-farm jobs over the month. Government had the largest increase with 24,100. Construction gained 1,200. Of the 11 sectors tracked, nine had gains. Financial Activities lost 300, and Other Services dropped 400. Overall, the private sector gained 12,000 non-farm jobs for the month.
Construction in Arizona has gained 16,500 jobs from Sept., 2017 to Sept., 2018, leading all employment sectors in the state.
The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 3,400 jobs in Buildings, unchanged from August and up 5,600 from September of 2017. Heavy Construction gained 100 over the month for a total of 18,000, which is up 800 from Sept., 2017. Specialty Trades increased 1,100 for the month at 112,300, and the segment added 10,100 over the year.
Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) increased 600 over the month, for a total of 131,000. The Sept., 2017 number was 116,400.
In Metro Tucson construction job numbers were down 100 to 17,200, an increase of 1,200 from Sept., 2017.
Yuma, Flagstaff, Prescott, Lake Havasu City-Kingman and Sierra Vista-Douglas combine Construction and Natural Resources jobs in reporting their job sector totals. Yuma was unchanged at 2,500. Flagstaff dropped 100 to 2,500. Prescott gained 100 to 6,000. Lake Havasu City-Kingman increase 200 to 3,300. Sierra Vista-Douglas was unchanged at 1,500.