By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped slightly in December to 5.8 percent, according to a recent report published by the Arizona Department of Administration Office of Employment and Population Statistics.
The national rate was unchanged at 5.0.
The state had a net gain of 7,400 non-farm jobs over the month. Most gains were in the private sector, which added 13,300. Government lost 5,900. Only five of the 11 sectors tracked by the state had gains, the largest of which was once again in Trade, Transportation and Utilities, up 5,700.
Construction lost 2,100 jobs over the month, more than erasing the November gain of 1,600 in November. Total statewide Construction jobs for the year were 132,300, a boost of 6,300 jobs over the year.
The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 23,100 jobs in Buildings, down 700 from November but up 1,000 from December 2014. Heavy Construction lost 300 from November for a total of 15,800, down 800 from last December. Specialty Trades lost 1,100 over the month to 93,400, increasing 5,900 over the year.
Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) went down 1,400 over the month, for a total of 104,000. The December 2014 number was 96,700.
Construction jobs in Metro Tucson dipped 500 to 14,600.
Yuma, Flagstaff, Prescott, Lake Havasu City-Kingman, and Sierra Vista-Douglas combine Construction and Natural Resources jobs in reporting their job sector totals. The first four remained unchanged month over month. Yuma showed 2,300. Flagstaff was at 2,100. Prescott listed 4,600, and Lake Havasu-Kingman had 2,500. Sierra Vista-Douglas was the only area showing any change, dropping 100 jobs to at 1,000.
NOTE: Discrepancy between the listed total (133,300) and the total found by adding the metro area counts (132,400) are attributed to rounding in the published metro totals.