By Eric Jay Toll for The Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The Arizona unemployment rate remained flat at 8.3 percent for August, and hasn’t shown much movement in either direction for the last few months. Although it’s down 1.2 percent from 2011, job creation in the state is not making significant progress. Construction gained only 900 jobs in August, but government employment—with schools restarting—was up over 38,500 jobs, a 10.6 percent jump over July. Overall, 48,200 new jobs were gained during the month.
In the construction sector, specialty trades had the biggest growth with 600 new jobs. Heavy construction added 300, but general construction job growth was flat. Overall, the construction sector is up over 10,000 jobs year to date compared to 3,500 jobs created during the same eight months of 2011.
Professional and business services continued adding jobs with 5,800 new hires during the month. Other sectors adding jobs included education and health services (3,400); trade, transportation and utilities (2,900); and financial activities (1,100). Construction came in sixth on the list. This is the 13th consecutive month construction jobs added in the current month top the number of jobs added the same month a year earlier.
Natural resources and mining added no jobs in August, and sectors losing jobs included manufacturing (-500), information (-600), other services (-1,500), and leisure and hospitality (-1,800).
While government job gains were high in August, during the course of the year 98 percent of the new jobs are created in private sector with only 2 percent created in the public sector.