Arizona regaining jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic

Feb 2, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:18 am

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)...

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PHOENIX — Thousands of Arizonans lost their job during the coronavirus pandemic but many are starting to regain them, and that’s driving the state’s unemployment rate down.

Before the pandemic, the state unemployment rate was holding steady at 4.5%. It jumped to a high of 13.4% in April and has been steadily declining ever since.

The latest data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows it was 7.5% in December.

“While we did lose a significant number of jobs, month after month and kind of a steady progression we have seen many of those jobs come back,” said Doug Walls, labor market information director for the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

The unemployment rate is affected by several factors, including the number of people employed and those actively looking for a job.

Walls said that when the pandemic started in March, there was a large decline in labor force participation nationwide.

“Here in Arizona, we have not seen the labor force declines quite like we’ve seen around the country,” he said. “That’s been one of the stronger indicators here in Arizona, showing the resiliency of the labor force through this pandemic period.”

Compared to the rest of the country, Arizona has also recovered a larger share of the jobs lost during the pandemic.

Walls said Arizona lost nearly 295,000 jobs at the peak of the pandemic, and about 69% of those had been recovered as of December. He said the U.S. overall has seen a recovery rate of 56%.

“The losses from the economic downturn were spread throughout a number of industry sectors, though none were hit quite as hard as the leisure and hospitality industry,” Walls said.

But there is some good news for the leisure and hospitality industry in Arizona, as it’s starting to regain jobs lost. As of December, it has recovered 66% of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic.

The unemployment numbers for January will be released mid March.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Seniors in Sun City invited to dance the night away at prom event...

Serena O'Sullivan

Sun City senior center to host prom to fight loneliness, keep older locals healthy

Loneliness can be deadly. That's why Banner Health is inviting seniors in Sun City to join its first prom event for people over 60.

16 minutes ago

A house is blackened after a fire involving two homemade electric vehicles in Phoenix on June 18, 2...

2 homemade electric vehicles catch fire inside garage at Phoenix home

Firefighters doused two homemade electric vehicles that were on fire in the garage of a Phoenix home on Tuesday morning.

50 minutes ago

Stations are set up at an otherwise empty Maricopa County vote center. Maricopa County will operate...

Kevin Stone

Maricopa County reveals more than 220 vote center locations for July 30 primary election

Maricopa County revealed more than 220 vote center locations for the July 30 primary election. Here's how to find one near you.

1 hour ago

Warning label on social media? Arizona experts respond to idea...

Serena O'Sullivan

How could a social media warning label impact Arizona children and teens?

The Surgeon General of the U.S. said on Monday he wants a warning label on social media apps because they hurt young people's mental health.

3 hours ago

Two men are seen with stand-up paddle boards at Tempe Town Lake in this file photo. A search was la...

Body found during recovery operation at Tempe Town Lake

Dive teams on Tuesday morning reportedly recovered the body of a person who apparently drowned at Tempe Town Lake a day earlier.

4 hours ago

Vista of red rocks in Sedona. A Pennsylvania woman hiking with her husband and young daughters died...

Pennsylvania mom hiking with family dies on Sedona trail

A Pennsylvania woman hiking with her husband and young daughters died on a trail in Sedona, authorities said Monday.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona regaining jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic