WHITE MOUNTAINS — Unemployment rates in some local communities have not been dropping dramatically, but they have been going down.

That means on average there are more people with gainful employment in the area.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in Pinetop-Lakeside dropped from 2.9 percent in January to 2.2 percent in November. That not only means more people with jobs and income, but an increase in the labor force from 1,803 to 1,866.

In Show Low during the same period, the decline in unemployment was even greater, going from 7.3 percent in January to 5.7 in November. In terms of jobs,153 more people living in or near Show Low have jobs than at the beginning of the year.

The unemployment rate in Snowflake dropped from 2.4 to 2 percent, translating to a labor force increase of 24.

In Snowflake’s sister town, Taylor, the rate fell from 4 percent to 3.1 percent, meaning a labor force increase of 70 workers.

No unemployment data was available from AZDOA for communities on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.

The story was much the same statewide, according to the November report from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

“Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point from 5.2 percent in October to 5 percent in November. The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased three-tenths of a percentage point from 4.9 percent in October to 4.6 percent in November. A year ago, the Arizona seasonally adjusted rate was 5.9 percent and the U.S. rate was 5.0 percent,” Megan Rose, press representative for AZDOA, said.

Arizona nonfarm employment grew by 1.1 percent (29,900 jobs) over the year in November, mostly in the private sector. 

Private business employment increased by 1.4 percent adding 32,100 jobs.

Government employment however declined by 2,200 jobs in November. 

Eight of the 11 sectors reported job gains while four showed losses. 

Rose said the largest gains included education and health services  that added 12,000 jobs; leisure and hospitality with 10,700 jobs; and financial activities increasing by 7,000 jobs. 

“Gains were also recorded for construction (4,800 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (1,700 jobs); information (800 jobs); professional and business services (500 jobs); and natural resources and mining (100 jobs),” Rose said.  

She noted 2,100 job losses in manufacturing; 2,200 jobs lost in government; and 3,400 gone in other services.

Data referenced in this story was prepared by the AZDOA in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona Department of Administration, and the Office of Employment and Population Statistics. 


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