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AZ Unemployment Down, Const. Shows Gains

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent in March to 5.0, according to a recent report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

The national rate improved to 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 in February.

The state had a net gain of 8,800 non-farm jobs over the month. Most gains were in Leisure & Hospitality, which added 9,400. Overall, the private sector gained 11,200. Five of the 11 sectors tracked gained; five lost, and one, Natural Resources and Mining, was unchanged.

Construction gained 3,500, and the sector has an overall net gain of 3,700 for the year. Total statewide Construction jobs for the year-to-date stand at 136,300.

The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 25,400 jobs in Buildings, up 100 from February also from last March. Heavy Construction was up 100 for the month with a total of 15,600, down 300 from last year. Specialty Trades gained 3,300 over the month to 95,300, and the segment maintained an increase of 3,900 over the year.

Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) increased 2,800 over the month, for a total of 107,000. The March 2016 number was 103,200.

Construction jobs in Metro Tucson increased 100 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. Flagstaff added 100 to 2,300. Prescott also gained 100, up to 4,900. Lake Havasu-Kingman was flat at 2,400 as was Sierra Vista-Douglas with 1,300.

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