Arizona's near record-low unemployment is increasing
Unemployment in Arizona increased for the second time in three months, though total joblessness is still near a historic low.
Driving the news: Arizona's unemployment rate rose from 3.3% to 3.5% in August, according to the monthly jobs report from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA).
- Nationally, the unemployment rate jumped to 3.7% from 3.5% in August.
- Arizona's 3.2% unemployment rate in June was the lowest since at least 1976.
Yes, but: Total employment and total jobs both increased in August.
- Total employment increased by 11,137, while the state added 46,300 non-farm jobs.
- The majority of those new jobs were in the government sector, largely due to the start of the new school year.
- People who are out of work between school years don't count toward the unemployment rate because it's seasonally adjusted.
The big picture: Doug Walls, the labor market information director at the ACA's Office of Economic Opportunity, doesn't view the second unemployment rate increase in three months as particularly worrisome.
What they're saying: "I would say, given that the unemployment rate has been at historic lows, to see it increase from those lows isn't necessarily a concern in and of itself. It's definitely something to continue to monitor moving forward," Walls tells Axios.
- Walls says there's a view at the national level that the economy has been growing too quickly, causing the massive jump in the consumer price index over the past year.
1 big number: Average hourly earnings in Arizona increased by 6.9% last month, which Walls attributes to a competitive hiring market.
- The leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services sectors primarily drove that wage growth.
- That's notably divergent from the national hourly wage, which dipped by 4.4% in August.
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