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Phoenix metro unemployment remains 3.7 percent

The Phoenix metro unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent for November, down 0.4 percent from November 2016 with the workforce growing to a record 2,325,000 in the month. That was a gain of 58,800 jobs from last year.

The new employment numbers comes with the news that the U.S. Census Bureau has Arizona topping 7 million in population.

Arizona gained 69,000 jobs year-over-year in November with the unemployment rate statewide dropping 0.1 percent to 4.3 percent.

The biggest job increases came in educational services, up 10.4 percent over last November. Educational services are specialty and support positions in companies serving schools and colleges. These are non-teaching jobs and employment not related to public schools and colleges.

Construction showed strong gains, up 8.3 percent overall, and 10.9 percent within specialty trades, and 9.4 percent for heavy construction—primarily the employment ramp-up for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.

While retail employment was up significantly in November compared to October, 15.8 percent in department stores, the sector workforce only increase 0.4 percent over November 2016. Building supply stores increased the number hired by 5.3 percent. Food services and drinking places increased their workforce by 6.1 percent.

Financial investment companies and insurance carriers showed large workforce increases in year-over-year comparisons with financial investment companies increasing hiring by 6.8 percent, and insurance carriers by 5.7 percent.

Overall, the metro area showed small gains in advanced industry employment compared to last year, and increased the workforce share in those sectors by nearly one-third more than pre-recession levels. Consumption industry employment also increased, with the share of workforce in public sector decreasing compared to pre-recession workforce share.

Phoenix metro employment growth
(in thousands)
Source: Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity)

SectorNov. 2017Nov. 2016% Chg Total employment2,068.61,775.92.2%Private sector1,819.61,775.92.5%Goods-producing240.7228.35.4%Construction112.8104.28.3%Financial activities183.3179.22.3%Leisure and hospitality229.5220.83.9%Education and health services309.4297.04.2%Government249.0247.50.6% [end]

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