By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.9 percent in February, up from 4.8 percent in January, according to the latest report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
The national rate remained steady at 4.1 percent. Twelve months ago, the state had a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.1 percent, and the national was at 4.
The state had a net gain of 31,100 non-farm jobs over the month, 16,600 of them in the private sector. Nine of the 11 sectors tracked showed gains, while Natural Resources and Mining was unchanged and Other Services lost 200.
Construction in Arizona gained 1,700.
The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 31,000 jobs in Buildings, up 400 from January and up 3,400 from February of 2017. Heavy Construction is unchanged for the month with a total of 17,200, up 1,400 from February, 2017. Specialty Trades increased 1,300 to 102,300, and the segment increased 7,200 over the year.
Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) increased 1,400 over the month, for a total of 118,000. The February 2017 number was 108,100.
In Metro Tucson construction job numbers increased 200 to 16,400, an increase of 1,100 from February, 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 stayed the same at 2,400, as did Flagstaff with 2,300 and Lake Havasu City-Kingman at 2,900. Prescott gained 200, for a total of 5,400. Sierra Vista-Douglas added 100 to reach 1,500 in total.