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Ariz. Dec. Unemployment Up; Const. Gains 600

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate nudged upward in December to 4.5 percent, up from 4.3 percent in November. The October number had also been 4.5 percent, according to the latest report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

The national rate remained steady at 4.1 percent.

The state had a net gain of 5,700 non-farm jobs over the month. Most of the gains came from Manufacturing, which added 2,900. Eight of the 11 sectors tracked reported gains. The three sectors with losses were Government (-3,800), Education & Health Services (-500) and Natural Resources & Mining (-200).

Construction maintained a net gain of 8,500 for the year. Total Arizona Construction jobs for the year-to-date stand at 142,500.

The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 25,800 jobs in Buildings, down 300 from November and down 300 from December of 2016. Heavy Construction is up 100 for the month with a total of 16,900, up 1,100 from December, 2016. Specialty Trades added 200 last month to 99,800, and the segment increased 7,700 over the year.

Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) increased 300 over the month, for a total of 112,300. The December 2016 number was 104,700.

In Metro Tucson construction job numbers were unchanged at 15,000, which is also up 200 from December 2016.

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 last month at 2,300, as were Flagstaff at 2,500, Lake Havasu City-Kingman at 2,500, and Sierra Vista-Douglas with 1,300. Prescott lost 100, for a total of 5,100.

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