Unemployment unchanged

Jobless rate remained at 10.8 in July

KINGMAN - Mohave County's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stayed unchanged in July, according to new data released Thursday by the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Seasonally-adjusted unemployment in the Lake Havasu City-Kingman metropolitan statistical area stayed at 10.8 percent in July, despite an overall increase in the number of actual unemployed persons in the county. July saw a sizeable jump in the overall civilian workforce, with 1,600 added to June's figure, for a total of 93,700 - the highest so far this year. Of that, approximately 83,500 are gainfully employed - also the highest figure this year - leaving roughly 10,200 out of work.

Actual nonfarm payroll employment was down slightly in the county, with most job sectors seeing little change. The leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and local government sectors each saw drops of about 100 jobs apiece, while the federal government sector added another 100. All other sectors, including trade and utilities, construction, business services and information, remained unchanged.

Since the year began, Mohave County job creation has been stuck firmly in neutral, spending five of the last seven months stuck at 10.8 percent unemployment. The only outliers were January's 9.9 percent and May's 11.8 percent figures. Since the year began, the civilian labor force has added about 1,900 new workers, while total employment rose 2,000 over the same period. Despite this, however, most non-farm job sectors appear to have been stuck in a holding pattern all year, with employment levels virtually flat for all sectors, save federal government, which received a boost thanks to the 2010 Census.

When not adjusted for seasonal shifts, the unemployment rate for the county has actually fallen slightly from the beginning of the year. January started the year at 11.2 percent unemployment, which fell to 10.2 percent in April at the height of the census, then rose back to 10.9 percent in July. July was the third month in a row the non-adjusted unemployment rate has increased.

Arizona as a whole has also continued to struggle with job growth. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment statewide remained at 9.6 percent in July, unchanged for the third month in a row and up from 9.2 percent at the beginning of the year. Rural counties continue to be the worst-hit parts of the state, though Yuma's high-turnover agricultural sector boasts the state's highest individual unemployment rate, currently hovering just below 23 percent.

For the second month in a row, next-door neighbor Nevada tops the nation in unemployment with a rate in excess of 14 percent, while oil-rich North Dakota continues to hold the lowest rate of less than 4 percent. The nationwide unemployment rate remained unchanged in July, staying firm at 9.5 percent.