The Phoenix metro unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in September 2019 from 4.3 percent a year ago, according to the September Employment Report from the Arizona Officer of Economic Opportunity. Arizona dropped from 4.9 percent last year to 4.5 percent last month.
The Phoenix area workforce increased by 51,200 jobs from last year, a gain of 2.4 percent, compared to the U.S. job gain of 1.6 percent in September 2019 over September 2018. There are now nearly 2.2 million in the Phoenix metro workforce, compared to 1.9 million last year. The private sector grew by 2.9 percent and government hiring declined 0.9 percent.
Arizona’s workforce increased by 65,000 jobs to just shy of 3 million, up from 2.9 million in 2019. Nearly 80 percent of the new jobs were created in the Phoenix metro. Phoenix now has two out of every three jobs in Arizona.
The record-setting pace of new development showed in construction’s sector adding 12,400 new jobs, a 9.8 percent increase from last year. Construction is still 21,000 fewer jobs than were in the sector in 2007, the high point of construction employment in the Valley.
Bioscience healthcare added 9,900 jobs in year-over-year growth of 3.7 percent. The professional scientific and technical services sector added 4,600 jobs in September, also a 3.7 percent increase from a year earlier.
Manufacturing hiring is now starting its fourth consecutive year of job growth. Despite a decrease nationally in hiring by manufacturing concerns, companies in Phoenix added 8,300 jobs in September, a 6.5 percent jump from 2018. September marked the 37th consecutive month of manufacturing job gains.
Transportation and warehousing increased new hires by 7,900, a 9.8 percent year-over-year increase.
The financial activities sector offset a 1,200 job decline in banking with a net gain of 3,000 new jobs, mostly in insurance and real estate. Restaurants and bars added 2,700 new jobs in September, traditionally a month of declining hiring before the prime season boost.