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Arizona Unemployment Rate Increases To 5.1 Percent In May

By Phil Latzman
Associated Press
Published: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 9:34am

Arizona's unemployment rate rose slightly in May as the state's economy lost 14,700 nonfarm jobs.

The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 5.1 percent in May, up from 5 percent in April.

Some of that is expected as many service workers in the education industry are technically unemployed over the summer. But private sector employment also fell, especially leisure and hospitality.

Research director Doug Walls said that’s also not a big surprise, given that industry’s 5 and percent year-over-year growth.

"This has been an industry that has seen significant growth since the end of the recession. But we've seen strong growth in a majority of industries within Arizona," said Walls.

The month's jobs loss was higher than the post-recessionary average loss of 5,200 jobs.

The office says six economic sectors lost jobs, four added jobs and one stayed even.

The sector with the biggest loss was government, which shed 9,200 positions, followed by professional and business services, down 2,100 jobs. The sector with the biggest gain was information, with 700 more jobs.

Maricopa County’s jobless rate rose from 3.9 percent in April to 4.3 percent in May, but still lowest in the state.

Yuma County’s is the highest at nearly 19 percent.