It's not happening fast enough for anxious job seekers such as Sequoia Parker, but Arizona's sickly job market is slowly starting to mend.
"I have been looking for work for a year and a half," said Parker, 27, a Mesa single mother who was at a job fair for holiday retail jobs this week. There are more job openings for administrative workers, but she said but the requirements are tougher than they used to be. "They want you to be bilingual and they want you to work swing shifts."
On Thursday, there were more positive, albeit subdued signs that the jobs market was gaining strength.
In September Arizona added 26,100 jobs compared with September 2010, a modest gain that nudged the unemployment rate down to 9.1 percent, the same level as the U.S. unemployment rate, according to a report released by the Arizona Department of Administration. The state's unemployment rate was 9.3 percent in August.
Last month was the first time since 2006 that Arizona private employers added more jobs in September than they eliminated. Private employers gained 4,600 jobs in September.
Back to school hiring at public schools and community colleges helped Arizona bulk up 19,600 jobs, the gains rippled across a broad range of sectors, including construction, hospitality, private education and health care.
"Thing are looking better," said state economist Aruna Murthy. "A lot of sectors are doing well."
Thursday's figures do not take into account the flurry of fall hiring at local retailers in preparation for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and winter holidays. Those temporary jobs usually appear in the October jobs report, which is released in November.
On Wednesday, 240 job hunters came to a job fair at Mesa Employment Services hoping to get one of those temporary jobs. Several said that they were unable to find work in their field but were hoping to land holiday work that would help sustain their families in the meantime.
"I am very happy to be here," said Robert Ramirez, 18 of Mesa, who said that he was optimistic that he would find a job. The high school senior has been looking for work for two years. For him, it's not just a financial issue: Ramirez said that he needs work to earn the additional credit hours that he needs to graduate. So far, even jobs as a busboy and dishwasher have been hard to find.
"I have put out a bunch of applications," he said. "I haven't heard anything back."
The the jobs report and other economic indicators suggest that retail hiring will be strong this month, said said, Beckie Holmes chief economist for Cox Arizona.
A "positive sign was the healthy increase in retail sales employment in September," Holmes said. Retail sales tax collections have been growing all year, too, she noted.
Another bright spot was construction. The state's battered construction industry gained 3,700 jobs a rise of 6.3 percent. While that is a positive sign, analysts such asMurthy cautioned that the state has a long way to go -- the state lost about 50 percent of its construction jobs during the downturn.
Some white-collar professions still are struggling to gain ground. Finance and business professional services, however, each lost 1,500 jobs.
"The economy still has a lot of jobs to gain to get back to health," Holmes said, "but this is one of the stronger reports we have seen in recent months and is hopefully a good sign for the rest of 2011."
by Jahna Berry The Arizona Republic Oct. 20, 2011 05:10 PM
Arizona unemployment rate down in September
Reuters: Business News
National Commercial Real Estate News From CoStar Group
Latest stock market news from Wall Street - CNNMoney.com
- ► 2017 (48)
- ► 2016 (145)
- ► 2015 (146)
- ► 2014 (102)
- ► 2013 (395)
- ► 2012 (392)
- Reagor: Revised program targets underwater homeown...
- Economists warn housing prices will lose more grou...
- Pending home sales fell 4.6% in Sept.
- Scottsdale condo prices up nearly 5% as foreclosur...
- $1.6 billion Prasada project stays on track in Sur...
- Judge approves Chapter 11 for Realty Executives
- Economy picked up over summer
- Scottsdale approves 2nd plan for apartments near a...
- New-home sales up 5.7%, builders slash prices
- Sarkozy Turns to Hu for China Aid as Europe Expand...
- Greece to get 100 bil euros in more rescue loans
- Home prices up in half of major US cities
- Banks score higher in satisfaction survey
- Ad blasts Romney housing comment
- Arizona underwater homeowners to get refinance hel...
- Phoenix homes, part of segregated past, demolished...
- Debt crisis plan is not yet ready
- Massive West Valley development to launch
- Europe's big banks under pressure in crisis
- Developer lays out ideas for dude ranch in Scottsd...
- Combs: Seller isn't absolved in 'as is' sale
- Realtors decry potential loss of mortgage deductio...
- Wall Street Has Worst Quarter Since Crisis in Bank...
- Arizona unemployment rate down in September
- Scottsdale council OKs first plan for apartments n...
- Scottsdale Waterfront rides wave in low tide
- Citigroup to pay $285 mil to settle SEC fraud char...
- Chase's CEO backs a bright outlook
- Origination News - NAR: Lower GSE Loan Limits Alre...
- Perspective: Problem with Housing 2011
- Office-space rent prices decline in Valley
- The new normal: Higher bank fees are here to stay
- Think before switching banks
- Fed: Crisis alters central-bank focus
- Middle-class homeownership dream may be slipping a...
- World population nearing 7 billion
- Mortgage fraud plea involves 40-plus homes
- TDI proposes 667 apartment units for One Scottsdal...
- Phoenix seeks to cancel $97.4 million pact with Ci...
- Myths, misperceptions about credit scores rampant
- EU exec, France want voluntary bank deal on Greece...
- Report: Fewer foreclosures slowed Sept. resales in...
- Fed minutes: 2 policy makers saw need for bolder s...
- Scottsdale Airport Commission rejects apartment pr...
- FDIC backs ban on banks trading for own profit
- Interest in Scottsdale McDowell Corridor redevelop...
- Census numbers detail Arizona's housing bust
- China investment arm buys bank shares to support m...
- Scottsdale entrepreneur thinks inside the box
- European Central Bank offers banks new emergency l...
- Germany, France devise bank plan
- Moody's sees Volcker rule as credit negative for b...
- Windows of time
- Scottsdale-area home prices edge up in 3 areas
- Phoenix-area home prices remain too cheap
- Phoenix-area real estate collapse echoed troubles
- Phoenix-area home price changes vary greatly
- Realty group opens office in Scottsdale
- Gold drops 1 percent after Italy, Spain downgraded...
- Work to start on renovating retail center
- Rush is on to build 3,500 apartments in Scottsdale...
- Mixed-use project coming to Arcadia
- Interest in Scottsdale McDowell Corridor redevelop...
- Maricopa County tops list for home vacancies
- Census: Housing bust worst since Depression
- Phoenix-area bankruptcy filings continue to drop, ...
- Recent data on housing show things looking up
- CBRE Investors pays $53.5 mil for operations hub
- Proposal to shape access to Sonoran Desert
- Sales up 20% at Scottsdale's Windgate Ranch
- Home prices up for 4th month
- Seattle investors buy W. Phoenix apartments
- Ex-leaders of Radical Bunny face SEC grilling
- Arizona trying new ways to assist homeowners
- Moving to downtown Phoenix has saved couple lots o...
- Reagor: Few details on plan for refinancing
- Rental housing becoming less affordable
- Fulton Homes to open 3 new subdivisions | Central ...
- Cross collateralization can trip up borrowers
- IMF vows to tackle Europe debt troubles
- Scottsdale Airpark multifamily housing plans advan...
- Developer leaves Glendale, Scottsdale picking up p...
- Fed plan, fear push 10-year yield to record low, b...
- Seized lands to be placed on auction block
- IMF downgrades its outlook for U.S., Europe
- Agency encourages short sales by offering money
- Doubting value of owning a home
- ▼ October (87)