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Arizona unemployment rate drops to 5.4%

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.5 percent in February to 5.4 percent in March, according to the Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.9 percent in February to 5.0 percent in March, according to the report released Thursday. A year ago, the Arizona seasonally adjusted rate was 6.2 percent and the U.S. rate was 5.5 percent.

Over the Month

Arizona gained 12,200 Nonfarm jobs (0.5 percent) in March. This was more than the post-recessionary (’10-’15) average gain of 11,800 jobs. The Private Sector gained 12,300 jobs (0.5 percent), which is slightly less than the post-recessionary (’10-’15) average gain of 12,700 jobs in March.

Gains were recorded in eight of the eleven sectors, while three sectors posted losses. The gains were recorded in Leisure and Hospitality (7,300 jobs); Education and Health Services (2,300 jobs), Construction (2,000 jobs); Financial Activities (1,600 jobs); Other Services (400 jobs); Information (300 jobs); Natural Resources and Mining (100 jobs); and Manufacturing (100 jobs). The losses were recorded in Professional and Business Services (-1,400 jobs); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-400 jobs); and Government (-100 jobs).

Over the Year

Arizona Nonfarm employment grew by 3.2 percent (84,300 jobs) over the year in March. The Private Sector accounted for all of the March gains, adding 86,000 jobs (3.9 percent). Government employment declined by 1,700 jobs (-0.4 percent) in March. Nine of the eleven sectors reported job gains, while two sectors reported losses. The sectors with the largest gains included Education and Health Services (19,500 jobs); Professional and Business Services (17,300 jobs); and Financial Activities (13,400 jobs). Additional employment gains were reported in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (12,500 jobs); Construction (9,000 jobs); Leisure and Hospitality (8,400 jobs); Information (3,300 jobs); Manufacturing (2,400 jobs); and Other Services (1,300 jobs). Job losses were reported in Natural Resources and Mining   (-1,100 jobs) and Government (-1,700 jobs).

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