Arizona unemployment rate fell to record-low level in May 2024

Jun 21, 2024, 1:34 PM

Five medical professionals wearing scrubs and masks looking down at the camera in what appears to b...

Arizona added 30,100 jobs in its health care and social assistance sector from May 2023 to May 2024. (Unsplash Photo)

(Unsplash Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona unemployment rate dropped in May to the lowest level ever seen under the current methodology, state officials announced Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted rate of 3.4% is the smallest since the state started using the current methodology to measure unemployment in 1976, according to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity’s latest employment report.

“Arizonans have more opportunity than ever before, and our state has record low unemployment numbers,” Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a press release. “With these record setting numbers, it’s clear that Arizona’s economy is strong. I am laser-focused on creating good-paying jobs for Arizonans, building and creating businesses in our state, and ensuring every Arizonan has the opportunity to thrive.”

The press release misspelled the governor’s name as Jobbs, apparently for added effect.

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted rate for May was down from 3.6% in April and 3.7% from a year earlier. The state improved while the national jobless rate increased from 3.7% in May 2023 to 3.9 in April of this year and 4.0% in May.

A closer look at Arizona employment statistics

The state added 2,023 people (0.1%) to its seasonally adjusted labor force from April to May and 62,120 individuals (1.7%) over the previous year.

Meanwhile, the not-seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment total increased year-over-year by 63,900, or 2%,.

Ten of Arizona’s 12 major economic sectors recorded year-over-year employment gains, led by 30,100 jobs in health care and social assistance. Next was trade, transportation and utilities with 15,900 jobs, followed by government (7,800) and private educational services (7,400).

Information (down 2,600 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (down 7,500 jobs) were the only sectors to lose jobs over most recent year of data.

Despite the rosy employment numbers, lawmakers were forced to address a $1.4 billion shortfall in the state budget for the coming fiscal year.

Senate President Warren Petersen told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show earlier this week the shortfall was the result of inaccurate revenue projections. However, he said he expects the economy to improve over the next year and for the state to be balanced or have a surplus under the new budget.

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Arizona unemployment rate fell to record-low level in May 2024