The state of Arizona released its jobs report for the month of October on Thursday and it said that the jobless rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.1 percent. The jobless rate in Arizona was the lowest in the state since December of 2008 and was two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national jobless rate of 7.9 percent for October. The jobless rate in the country increased from 7.8 percent in September.
For the month of October, the overall job growth in the state of Arizona was weaker than usual, with just 11,900 non-farm jobs added to the workforce in the state compared to the month of September, according to the Arizona Department of Administration’s report, which was discussed in the Arizona Republic. The report also noted that the 10-year average monthly growth for non-farm jobs in October is 16,900 jobs. The private sector gained 9,500 of those 11,900 jobs in the month of October, according to the report.
The sector that experienced the best growth in job gains was that of trade, transportation and utilities. That sector gained 4,900 jobs alone in October, mainly because of the hiring of seasonal employees by retail companies. The sector that experienced the largest drop in jobs was that of leisure and hospitality. That sector dropped 500 jobs in October, according to the report.
Aruna Murthy, the Department’s Director of Economic Analysis, said that the decrease for the leisure and hospitality industry was unusual because that sector typically adds jobs in the month of October. Murthy noted that the drop, which was not expected, could be the result of errors or incomplete reporting, not part of a trend.
“I still don’t feel very comfortable with those numbers, and they may be revised,” she said.
The sector of education and health services also lost jobs in October that totaled 300 compared to September. The report noted that the government sector’s monthly job growth was half of the 10-year average. In October, 2,400 jobs were added in the government within Arizona and that can be compared to the 5,200 average growth of jobs.
Murthy noted that out of the 11 major employment sectors categorized by the department, nine sectors reported lower-than-average job growth for the month of October. The report did make sure to note that the long-term trend in the state remains positive for job gains. Since October of 2011, roughly 46,600 non-farm jobs have been added to the payrolls in the state and the jobless rate has dropped from 9.3 percent.
Since October of 2011, the sector of professional and business services added 15,200 jobs, which is good for the highest year-over-year job growth in the state.