Arizona Construction Gained 1,100 Jobs in May

Year over Year Change in AZ Construction Employment. Credit: BEX

By Tasha Anderson and Rebekah Morris for AZBEX

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent in May 2021, from April 2021, according to the latest report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

The national rate decreased to 5.8 percent from April. In May 2020, the state had a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.6 percent, and the national was at 13.3 percent.

The state had a net gain of 900 non-farm jobs over the month. “Historically (2011-2020), Nonfarm employment has recorded a loss of 700 jobs in May,” the report states. Leisure & Hospitality had the largest net gain of 2,200 jobs, followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities with 2,000. Construction gained 1,100 jobs for the month.

The monthly gain in AZ construction jobs jumped ahead from the paltry gain of 200 jobs recorded in April 2021. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started to hit the market in March 2021, the monthly change in construction employment has varied widely, with high points in May 2020 and November 2020 of 2K and 3K respective monthly job gains, while April and December 2020 recorded significant month over month job losses at 5,800 and 4,500 respectively.

Month over Month Change in AZ Construction Employment. Credit: BEX

Leisure & Hospitality took the top spot in job gains from May 2020 to May 2021 with a total of 63,200, while Natural Resources & Mining took the top spot in job losses over the year with 200. Construction reported a 2,000-job gain over the year. This is on par with the YOY change from April 2021 where another 2,100 jobs were gained in sector.

While 2020 recorded a robust start to the year in terms of statewide construction employment, notching no fewer than 8,800 jobs gained for each of the first three months, YOY gains came to an abrupt slowdown in April 2020 and remained that way for most of the remainder of the year, even turning negative from December 2020 through March 2021.

Year over Year Change in AZ Construction Employment. Credit: BEX

The Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 35,700 jobs in Buildings, which increased by 900 from April 2021 and increased by 500 from May 2020. Heavy Construction increased by 200 over the month for a total of 20,700 and lost 200 over the year. Specialty Trades remained at 117,900 for the month, and the segment gained 1,700 over the year.

Statewide construction employment totals 174.3K jobs. Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) gained 1,000 over the month for a total of 134,500. The May 2020 number was 134,300. The Metro Tucson construction jobs lost 100 for a total of 18,300 jobs for the month. The May 2020 number was also 17,800.

Yuma, Flagstaff, Prescott, Lake Havasu City-Kingman and Sierra Vista-Douglas combine Construction and Natural Resources jobs in reporting their job sector totals. Yuma, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City-Kingman and Sierra Vista-Douglas all remained the same for a total of 3,700, 2,700, 4,200 and 3,600 respectively for the month. Prescott gained 100 for a total of 7,000 jobs.

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