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AZ Unemployment Up, Const. Gains 300 Jobs

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate nudged upward 0.1 percent in February to 5.1, according to a recent report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

The national rate improved to 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 in January.

The state had a net gain of 27,100 non-farm jobs over the month. Most gains were in Government, which added 15,500. Overall, the private sector gained 11,600. Ten of the 11 sectors tracked gained. Only Trade, Transportation & Utilities lost jobs, shedding 4,600 for the month.

Construction gained 300, and the sector has an overall year-over-year net gain of 2,300. Total statewide Construction jobs for the year-to-date stand at 133,200.

The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 25,300 jobs in Buildings, down 1,100 from January but up 400 from last February. Heavy Construction was unchanged for the month with a total of 15,500, down 300 from last year. Specialty Trades gained 1,400 over the month to 92,400, and the segment maintained an increase of 2,200 over the year.

Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) increased 500 over the month, for a total of 104,400. The February 2016 number was 102,300.

Construction jobs in Metro Tucson increased 200 to 14,800.

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 2,200, as was Flagstaff with the same number. Prescott gained 100, up to 4,800, as did Lake Havasu-Kingman for a total of 2,400. Sierra Vista-Douglas stayed the same at 1,300.

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