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April 14, 2024 8:05 am

Local News

Arizona Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Since 1976

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Reinette LeJeune

In these recovering times for our state, it should come as some relief to know that the unemployment rate has declined to 3.2 percent, the lowest on record since 1976, when the current record keeping methods began to be used. 

Doug Walls, the Labor Market Information Director for the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, has cited the state’s low unemployment rate as a sign that the state’s economy has grown over the last year and a half. While businesses are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal significant growth among various sectors. Leisure and hospitality, which was one of the most impacted sectors by the pandemic, has seen a twelve-month growth of 11.5 percent. Manufacturing sectors saw a 6.1 percent increase, while mining, logging, trade, transportation, and utility sectors each saw a 5.9 percent increase respectively. “With this latest report we saw over 8,000 individuals coming into the labor force which is a good sign people are optimistic about their opportunities to find employment and re-engage with the labor force,” Walls said, “we’re seeing increases in wages across the number of industries as the employers look to entice individuals. That could also mean that there’s more flexibility in the work schedule, they’re signing bonuses and things like that.” 

The state’s quit rate, the number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs, is also on the rise – a sign which points to employees being confident that they can quit their job and find another one relatively easy. With Arizonans bearing the weights of higher gas prices, housing and renting spikes, and ballooning inflation rates this should come as hopeful news to residents, with officials even commenting that this would be the opportune time for individuals seeking career switches to do so.