The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Arizona dropped four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.2% in October to 7.8% in November. While the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 379,000, the highest since March. The increase may reflect volatility around the Thanksgiving holidays. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average jumped 13,250 to 343,250, the second straight increase. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Last month, they fell to nearly the lowest level in six years, as companies cut fewer jobs. But two weeks ago, they surged 64,000 to 369,000. Economists dismissed that spike, saying it likely reflected a Thanksgiving holiday that fell later in the month. That can distort the government’s seasonal adjustments. But if the trend continues it would be a troubling sign of rising layoffs.
A year ago, the Arizona seasonally adjusted rate was 8.0% and the U.S. rate was 7. 8%. Arizona added 25,900 Nonfarm jobs (1.0%) in November, higher than the post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) gain of 20,800 jobs. The majority of Nonfarm employment gains came from the Private Sector which added 25,500 jobs (1.2%). The Private Sector job gain was higher than the post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) gain of 19,200 jobs. Although Government added 400 jobs, its gain was smaller than the post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) gain of 1,600 jobs. Nine of the eleven major sectors added jobs and two were flat over the month.
Over the month in November, Trade, Transportation and Utilities (TTU) added the most jobs (15,400 jobs) accounting for nearly 60% of all jobs added this month. This gain was more than the post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) gain of 11,900 jobs and the largest over-the-month gain ever recorded. The majority of gains within TTU were seasonal and reported in Retail Trade which added 12,500 jobs. Financial Activities added 2,400 jobs, the largest November over-the-month gain on record. Leisure and Hospitality added 1,900 jobs and Education and Health Services gained 1,800 jobs. Construction added 1,200 jobs, unusual for November which has a post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) loss of 2,000 jobs. Other Services gained 1,100 jobs, higher than the post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) gain of only 200 jobs. Professional and Business Services gained 1,000 jobs, less than half the post-recessionary-average (’09-’12) gain of 2,800 jobs. Information and Government added 700 jobs and 400 jobs respectively. Manufacturing and Natural Resources and Mining were flat over the month.
In Arizona, 47,500 Nonfarm jobs (1.9%) were added to payrolls in November compared to the same time last year. The Private Sector accounted for all the gains adding 50,100 jobs (2.4%) over the year. Government reported a net loss of 2,600 jobs over the year. Nine of the eleven major sectors reported gains and two reported losses over the year. Trade, Transportation and Utilities reported the largest over-the-year gain of 11,000 jobs followed by Education and Health Services (10,800 jobs) and Financial Activities (9,600 jobs). Other major sectors which reported job gains include: Leisure and Hospitality (7,900 jobs), Professional and Business Services (5,700), Construction (5,400 jobs), Other Services (700 jobs), Information (500 jobs), and Natural Resources and Mining (100 jobs). Both Government (-2,600 jobs) and Manufacturing (-1,600 jobs) shed jobs.
Get detailed information, graphs and charts on Arizona data at www.azstats.gov