LB - RoomStore 0503

Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Health Directory | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 26, 2016

3/30/2013 8:29:00 AM
Arizona jobless rates dips to 7.9 percent

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- The state's jobless rate inched down just a bit last month amid weaker than expected showing in retail and health care employment.

New figures for February put the unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, a decline of one-tenth of a percent. And, on paper, the state did add 22,900 jobs from January.

But economist Aruna Murthy of the state Department of Administration, said that is below what is normally expected this time of the year.

The state's retail sector shed 5,000 jobs month over month as stores are selling less and, as a result hiring fewer staffers.

``It's a reflection of the economy,' Murthy said.

``People are still worried,' she continued. ``People are not spending as much as they typically do.'

Murthy said some of that uncertainty is the inability of the federal government to reach a deal over mandatory budget cuts. At the same time, there was a 2 percentage point increase in payroll taxes, meaning smaller paychecks.

But Murthy said the problem could be more long term as shopping habits change. She said the experience of the past Christmas season showed a jump in people buying items online.

``As a result, they didn't go to a retail store,' she said. And that, in turn, also means traditional brick-and-mortar shops are curtailing their hiring.

Backing up that shift in the economy is the fact that wholesale trade employment in Arizona added 1,500 jobs last month. And overall employment is approaching 102,000, a 6.2 percent increase over the same time a year earlier.

Murthy said that's a reflection of an increase in the number of firms that have set up warehouses and distribution centers in Arizona. And many of them are shipping directly to customers.

That trend, she said, is likely to continue, as younger shoppers who are becoming a larger sector of the spending population are quite comfortable buying things online.

The other area of some concern is the slowing growth in health care employment.

That is the one sector of the Arizona economy that weathered the recession quite nicely. In fact, employment continued to grow even as other industries were shedding workers.

Last month, however, it lost 1,000 jobs. And year-over-year growth has slowed to just 1.8 percent, as low as it's been since the recession began.

``It's very perplexing to me,' Murthy said.

One possible explanation, she said, is uncertainty over exactly what the federal Affordable Care Act will mean -- and even if it really will be implemented. Murthy said only when the terms of the program become better understood will companies decide how many doctors and nurses they will need.

At the same time, Murthy said the state's population growth which stalled during the recession also has not picked up. Fewer people to serve, she said, means fewer health professionals needed.

One strong sector of the economy remains bars and restaurants which added another 3,600 staffers last month and 7,700 over the same time a year earlier. Murthy said this is tied to the timing of spring training and other events, as is an increase in employment in entertainment and recreation.

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Police soon will have one more reason to pull you over (4750 views)

•   What's hot in Verde Valley job market? (2956 views)

•   Cornville man charged with child molestation seeks plea (2875 views)

•   Marana man suffers skull injury, brain bleed following ATV crash (2737 views)

•   Motorcycle rider suffers head injuries in crash (2195 views)

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - Father Son Look a Like Contest
HSE - Readers Choice 300x100
Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
LB - Yavapai Herbal Services

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved