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Unemployment’s Downward Trend Continues

By Eric Jay Toll for The Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Graph Source: Prepared by the Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics, in cooperation with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dropping to its lowest point in more than three years, the Arizona unemployment rate stood at 8.1 percent in October, a fraction lower than September’s 8.2 percent, and down more than a point from a year ago. New job generation was slower than the prior month, reflecting a pause generated by both the then-pending election and the nearing holiday season.

Construction scored 2,100 jobs for the month. The job gains in the sector were notable because traditionally, jobs are lost during October. Specialty trades added 1,500 jobs, heavy construction picked up 400 and construction scored 200. Pre-recession hiring in the ten years between 1996 and 2006 showed an average gain of 500 jobs during October, with specialty trades typically showing no gain.

Nearly 12,000 new jobs were created during the month. Trade, Transportation and Utilities led October hiring adding 4,900 jobs. Construction ranked fourth, behind government and professional and business services, adding 2,400 and 2,300 jobs respectively.

Leisure and hospitality showed the biggest loss for the month, declining by 500 jobs for the start of the shoulder season. Other sectors reporting job losses were education and health care and information (both down -200), and other services (-100). Natural resources and mining were flat for the period.

The 11,900 jobs created in October brings the 10 month total to 46,600 new jobs in Arizona. The 1.9 percent increase marks the 24th consecutive month of job growth. Private sector job growth is up 2.2 percent for the year. Only information and other services showed job losses for 2012.

Read more at AZStats