Arizona unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent

Arizona's non-farm payroll increased by 48,200 jobs in August

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Arizona's non-farm payroll employment increased by 48,200 jobs in August, primarily from seasonal gains in local and state public education within government, according to the Arizona Department of Administration Office of Employment and Population Statistics. It is typical for Arizona to gain non-farm jobs in August, but the 2 percent gain was above average for August in Arizona. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Arizona remained unchanged at 8.3 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped by two tenth of a percent from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August.

Both government and the private sector typically have over-the-month gains in August. Private sector job gains (9,700) were slightly below the historical ('02-'11) average for August (10,300). However, gains in Government (38,500, 10.6 percent) were higher than average (26,900, 6.8 percent) for August. Government job gains in August were driven by local (34,700) and state (6,500) public education as schools increased staffing as schools resumed after the summer break.

Six of the 11 major sectors added jobs, one was flat, and four lost jobs in August. The sectors that gained jobs over the month were government (38,500) professional and business services (5,800 jobs), educational and health services (3,400 jobs), trade transportation and utilities (2,900 jobs), financial activities (1,100), and construction (900 jobs). Natural resources and mining was flat. Leisure and hospitality (-1,800), other services (-1,500), information (-600) and manufacturing (-500) were the sectors that lost jobs.

Over-the-year, total non-farm payroll employment added 55,200 jobs (2.3 percent). This is the third consecutive month for job gains above 2 percent. The average total non-farm employment gain for the first eight months of 2012 is 2.0 percent. Job gains above 2 percent have not been seen in Arizona since March 2007.

The private sector accounted for 98 percent (54,200 jobs) of the total non-farm over-the-year job gains while government accounted for the remaining 2 percent (1,000 jobs). Private sector job gains over-the-year were 2.7 percent in August. This was the sixth consecutive month of over-the-year job gains above 2 percent in the private sector.

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