ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona economy continues pandemic recovery as unemployment falls

Aug 23, 2021, 4:35 AM
(File Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
(File Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona unemployment rate continued to decrease last month as the state’s economy is not only recovering but growing coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Arizona seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.6% in July from 6.8% in June, and down from 10.4% in July of 2020, according to a report from the Office of Economic Opportunity released last week.

The state’s seasonally adjusted labor force also increased by 9,084 people last month.

Valley economist Danny Court with Elliot D. Pollock and Company told KTAR News 92.3 FM it was notable to see a gain of employment in the month as there is typically a loss in July.

“The economy is just doing incredibly well,” Court said. “We’re seeing now with these new job numbers the greater Phoenix area is now 99% recovered from the loss of jobs from the pandemic of February 2020.”

“Arizona is close behind that at 94%.”

The industry that gained the most jobs last month was professional and business services, which are made up of jobs that usually offer higher pay.

“In the last few months we’ve seen leisure and hospitality leading the way because that was the industry hardest hit,” Court said. “This month, we saw professional and business services. So that’s just new companies, new employment coming in as if it were a normal economy.”

Arizona’s speedy job recovery and growth continue a long-term trend for the state’s economy.

“Arizona has been a leader in job growth for quite some time now,” Court said. “We’re just continuing that trend.”

Court added the pandemic was not an economic event but a government shutdown and the state was running on all cylinders prior to COVID-19 screeching life to a halt.

“This is just us getting back to business as usual,” Court said.

He said there are record numbers in the Arizona Commerce Authority’s pipeline and a lot of new employers want to be in the state, along with headquarter projects and manufacturing.

Court added the labor force, meaning people joining and wanting to work, increased by 50,000 people since February of 2020, another telling sign of the state’s economic health.

“That just shows our economy is growing, it’s not just recovering from the pandemic but it’s actively growing,” he said.

Despite the positive signs of Arizona’s economy, Court said he is keeping an eye on rising inflation.

He hopes it’s a short-term squeeze and that supply chains open up and distribution channels can get better so the inflation number comes down.

Also something concerning that Court is watching is variants of COVID-19 that are unknown and always carry a risk of shutting down certain parts of the economy.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(CVS Health Photos)...
KTAR.com

Affordable housing development in south Phoenix holds grand opening

UMOM New Day Centers held a grand opening ceremony Wednesday for an affordable housing development in south Phoenix.
24 hours ago
This Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich is part of the new food menu approved by the NFL for the S...
Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

First look: State Farm Stadium ups the ante on Super Bowl food, beverage offerings

Those attending the NFL’s championship game, which will be played in Glendale on Sunday, can expect an elevated food and beverage menu.
24 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/City of Mesa Police Department)...
KTAR.com

4 Mesa children reported missing found in Texas, father arrested

Four Valley children who were reported missing earlier this week were found safe in Texas, authorities said Wednesday. 
24 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix woman who was subject of December Silver Alert found safe

Authorities canceled a Silver Alert for a missing Phoenix woman on Wednesday, two months after it was issued.
24 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
Danny Shapiro

Spending limit lifted this year for Arizona public schools after Senate vote

The aggregate expenditure limit for public schools this year was lifted Wednesday, allowing districts to avoid massive budget cuts.
24 hours ago
Disturbed (Live Nation Photo)...
KTAR.com

Disturbed to hit Phoenix this summer on Take Back Your Life Tour

It's going to be sick when Disturbed brings its brand of chugging heavy metal to Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre this summer.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Arizona economy continues pandemic recovery as unemployment falls