Quantcast
Home / economy / Arizona unemployment up, matches national trend

Arizona unemployment up, matches national trend

 .

The unemployment rate in Arizona rose to 10 percent in January, up from 9.2 percent in December. The new figures, released Friday, match the national upward trend.

Unemployment rose in nearly all of the 372 largest U.S. cities in January compared to the previous month, mostly because of seasonal changes such as the layoff of temporary retail employees hired for the holidays.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate rose in 351 metro areas, fell in only 16, and was unchanged in 5. That’s worse than December, when the rate fell in 207 areas and increased in 122.

Other seasonal trends, such as the layoff of construction workers due to winter weather, also contributed to the widespread increase.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent in January from 9.4 percent in December. It ticked down to 8.9 percent in February. But the national data is seasonally adjusted, while the metro data isn’t, which makes it more volatile. The metro data also lags the national report by one month.

The report shows that metro areas hit hard by the housing crisis are still struggling with high unemployment. At the same time, a strong recovery in the manufacturing sector, particularly among U.S. auto companies, has bolstered many smaller cities in the Midwest.

“The areas that have had very severe housing market corrections have shown the least improvement,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director at Moody’s Analytics. That’s particularly true for states such as California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Twelve of the 16 cities with unemployment rates above 15 percent in January were in California.

A high foreclosure rate and falling home prices are contributing to sky-high unemployment in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. metro area. Its unemployment rate of 14.2 percent was highest in the nation among cities with populations of 1 million or more. The second-highest was Las Vegas, with 13.7 percent.

The number of homes in foreclosure in Riverside is double the national rate, Koropeckyj said. And Moody’s forecasts that home prices in the city will drop 60 percent from peak levels before the recession by the middle of this year.

The housing bust and a sharp drop in construction jobs is also a major factor behind the 25.1 percent unemployment rate in El Centro, Calif., the nation’s highest. Yuma, Ariz., has the second-highest jobless rate, at 23.2 percent. Both metro areas border Mexico and have large numbers of migrant farm workers.

Meanwhile, several smaller cities that rely heavily on manufacturing have shown significant improvement since last January. The unemployment rate in Rockford, Ill., fell 5.3 percentage points in the past year, to 13.7 percent from 19 percent. That was the steepest drop in the nation. Year-to-year comparisons help filter out seasonal changes.

Chrysler LLC is investing $600 million in an auto plant near Rockford, which will start building smaller Fiat models in 2012. That’s giving a boost to construction jobs, though it isn’t clear if the expanded plant will add permanent workers.

And Kokomo, Ind., reported a 7.1 percent increase in jobs in January compared to a year earlier, one of the biggest gains in the country. It’s also the site of a Chrysler plant that is expanding.

Lincoln, Neb., reported the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, at 4.1 percent, followed by Fargo, N.D., with 4.6 percent, and Bismarck, N.D., 4.8 percent.

Arizona unemployment by the numbers:

(Figures in percentages)

Jan. 2011 Dec. 2011 Jan. 2010
Arizona 10 9.2 10.6
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale 9.3 8.5 10.5
Tucson 9.1 8.4 9.8
Flagstaff 9.5 8.5 10.5
Lake Havasu City-Kingman 11.5 10.7 12.3
Prescott 11.1 10 11.6
Yuma 23.2 22.9 21

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. Just wait until the federal and state budget cuts kick in and you’ll see unemployment rise more. Then, in 2012, you can watch all the hypocritical Republicans who voted for the cuts blame Obama for high unemployment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

 

x

Check Also

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat before the start of a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Franks says in a statement that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff. Instead, he says, the dispute resulted from a discussion of surrogacy. Franks and his wife have 3-year-old twins who were conceived through surrogacy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trent Franks announces he is resigning immediately after wife is admitted to hospital

Franks said in a written statement his wife became ill Friday and he decided the best thing for his family would be for his resignation to become effective immediately.