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Report: Unemployment, Construction Down

Courtesy of Arizona Department of Administration

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped slightly in August 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 4.9.

The state had a net gain of 29,600 non-farm jobs over the month. Most gains were in Government, which added 31,100. Overall, the private sector lost 1,500.

Only five of the 11 sectors tracked by the state had gains, the largest of which was Education and Health Services with 5,500. Natural Resources and Mining had the smallest increase, with only 200 jobs added.

Construction saw the greatest job loss at 4,400, but the sector has an overall year-over-year net gain of 6,100. Total statewide Construction jobs for the year-to-date stand at 135,600.

The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 24,400 jobs in Buildings, down 1,200 from July but up 100 from last August.

Heavy Construction lost 100 from July for a total of 15,900, down 200 from last August. Specialty Trades lost 3,100 over the month to 95,300, but the segment still maintains an increase of 6,200 over the year.

Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) went down 3,900 over the month, for a total of 106,100. The August 2015 number was an even 100,000.

Construction jobs in Metro Tucson were down 200 to 14,300.

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 the only area to show any change over the month, moving down 100 to 2,300. Flagstaff showed a total Construction and Natural Resources workforce of 2,300 for July and August. Prescott had 4,800; Lake Havasu-Kingman, 2,400; Sierra Vista-Douglas, 1,200.

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