Mar 13, 2014 2:24 PM by Faye DeHoff

Arizona's unemployment rate drops to 7.5%

PHOENIX - Arizona's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.6% in December to 7.5% in January.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from 6.7% in December to 6.6% in January. Arizona shed 42,200 Nonfarm jobs (-1.6%) over the month in January. Job losses in January are typical in Arizona as firms reduce staff levels following the holiday months. The ten-year average ('04-'13) employment loss in January is 57,900 jobs. The Private sector accounted for most of the losses with 33,200 jobs; Government lost the remaining 9,000 jobs. Ten of the eleven major sectors lost jobs and one was flat over the month.

Over the month, Trade, Transportation and Utilities had the largest job loss (14,100 jobs), the smallest January loss since 2005. Other large losses occurred in Government (-9,000 jobs) and Professional and Business Services (-5,600 jobs). The remaining eight sectors also reported losses in January: Other Services (-3,100 jobs), Construction (-3,000 jobs), Education and Health Services (-2,500 jobs), Manufacturing (-1,500 jobs), Financial Activities (-1,300 jobs), Leisure and Hospitality (-1,300 jobs) and Information (-800 jobs). Natural Resources and Mining remained flat over the month.

Over the year, Arizona gained a total of 55,400 Nonfarm jobs (2.2%) in January. The Private Sector reported all of those gains with 57,600 jobs, while Government lost 2,200 jobs. Eight of the eleven major sectors gained jobs over the year with three reporting losses. The largest over-the-year gain occurred in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (14,400 jobs), while the largest over-the-year percentage gain (6.9%) was reported in Financial Activities (12,300 jobs). Other major sectors that gained include Education and Health Services (13,800 jobs), Leisure and Hospitality (8,400 jobs), Construction (5,000 jobs), Professional and Business Services (4,400 jobs), and Information (700 jobs). Government (-2,200), Manufacturing (-1,100) and Other Services (-600 jobs) all lost jobs over the year.

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