By Tasha Anderson and Rebekah Morris for AZBEX
Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 6.8 percent in June 2021, from 6.7 percent in May 2021, according to the latest report published by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
The national rate increased to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent in May. In June 2020, the state had a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.7 percent, and the national was at 11.1 percent.
The state had a net loss of 8,800 non-farm jobs over the month. “Historically (2011-2020), Nonfarm employment has recorded a loss of 45,000 jobs in June,” the report states. Trade, Transportation & Utilities had the largest net gain of 10,500 jobs, followed by Leisure & Hospitality with 4,800. Government had the largest net loss of 34,800 jobs. Construction gained 2,200 jobs for the month.
Trade, Transportation & Utilities took the top spot in job gains from June 2020 to June 2021 with a total of 46,100, followed by Leisure & Hospitality with 41,500. Construction reported a 1,700-job gain over the year. Year Over Year (YOY) gains were reported in all eleven sectors.
The report notes that, “June 2021 year-over-year calculations include June 2020 as the historical period of comparison. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment estimates for almost every industry across Arizona in June 2020 recorded larger than average single-month declines. With June 2020 as the comparison point, as the state recovers jobs, employment estimate increases for June are atypically large.”
Statewide construction employment totals 175.4K jobs, which increased by 2,200 from May 2021 and increased by 1,700 from June 2020.
The Arizona Construction sector features three major segments: Buildings, Heavy, and Specialty Trades. There are currently 36,600 jobs in Buildings, which increased by 1,100 from May 2021 and increased by 1,200 from June 2020. Heavy Construction increased by 100 over the month for a total of 20,800 and lost 200 over the year. Specialty Trades increased by 1,000 over the month for a total of 118,000, and the segment gained 1,300 over the year.
Construction jobs in the Phoenix Metro Area (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale) gained 1,900 over the month for a total of 136,100. The June 2020 number was 135,100. The Metro Tucson construction jobs gained 300 for a total of 18,600 jobs for the month. The June 2020 number was 18,000.
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 and Sierra Vista-Douglas all gained 100 jobs over the month for a total of 3,800, 2,800 and 3,700 respectively. Prescott gained 200 jobs over the month for a total of 7,200, and Lake Havasu City-Kingman remained a 4,200 over the month.
Unlike other Industries, Construction Remained Steady Throughout COVID
Arizona construction employment was mostly spared throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to remain strong. Before the pandemic took hold of the world economies, Arizona Construction was significantly higher than 2019. After an initial and abrupt shock to the market in April 2020 where the Arizona construction shed 5,800 jobs, the market quickly stabilized and has since recovered those positions. Statewide construction employment is roughly 0.5 percent less than the relative peak reached pre-COVID, in February 2020.