By Tasha Anderson for AZBEX
Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.6 percent in December 2019, from 4.8 percent in November 2019, according to the latest report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
The national rate remained at 3.5 percent from November. In December 2018, the state had a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.9 percent, and the national was at 3.9 percent.
The state had a net gain of 6,500 non-farm jobs over the month, which is higher than the historical 10-year (2009-2018) average gain of 4,500 jobs. Trade, Transportation & Utilities had the largest increase of jobs with 5,200, followed by Leisure & Hospitality with 3,000. Of the 11 sectors tracked, Information and Financial Activities recorded the smallest net gain of 300 jobs each, while Professional & Business Services recorded the largest net loss of jobs for the month at 5,200.
Education and Health Services in Arizona took the top spot in job gains from December 2018 to December 2019 with a total of 20,400, while Trade, Transportation & Utilities came in second with 17,700. Construction came in third with 12,000.
The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 37,100 jobs in Buildings, which remained the same from November 2019 and increased 2,500 from December 2018. Heavy Construction lost 200 over the month for a total of 20,400 and is up 1,400 from December 2018. Specialty Trades increased 1,300 for the month at 121,300, and the segment added 8,100 over the year.
Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) increased 1,200 over the month for a total of 138,900. The December 2018 number was 130,600.
The Metro Tucson construction jobs remained at 18,200 from November and increased by 900 from December 2018.
Yuma, Flagstaff, Prescott, Lake Havasu City-Kingman and Sierra Vista-Douglas combine Construction and Natural Resources jobs in reporting their job sector totals. Yuma gained 100 for a total of 2,600 for the month. Flagstaff and Prescott lost 100 for a total of 2,500 and 6,500 respectively. Lake Havasu City-Kingman and Sierra Vista-Douglas both remained at 3,500 and 1,900 respectively for the month.