County jobless rate still over 10%
KINGMAN - After a sharp increase in May, Mohave County's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate reversed itself in June, falling nearly a full point to 10.9 percent, though overall unemployment actually rose due to increases in the total workforce and the loss of hundreds of government positions.
According to a new report released Thursday by the Arizona Department of Labor, total non-farm employment in Mohave County fell to 46,000 in June, down from 46,900 the month before, with the bulk of job losses coming from the local and federal government sectors. Those sectors, which account for both U.S. Census workers and public education, shed a combined 800 jobs due to summer vacation and expiring temporary Census jobs.
But government was by no means the only sector to drop employees in June. Several other private service sectors also experienced smaller decreases, including educational and health services, information, leisure and hospitality, and miscellaneous services. Those four sectors each lost about 100 jobs each, though the professional and business services sector made up for it slightly, posting an increase of about 100 jobs over the same period.
For the second month in a row, goods-producing industries saw a rise in employment. The manufacturing sector added another 100 jobs, bringing the total to about 2,900 workers countywide, while the mining and construction sector retained the 100 jobs it added in May, keeping its total employment at 2,700.
The local unemployment rate remains well above both the state and national averages, which currently stand at 9.6 and 9.5 percent, respectively. While several other counties top Mohave's unemployment rate, the Kingman-Lake Havasu City metropolitan area continues to hold one of the highest rates of any city in the state save for Yuma, whose large transitory agricultural workforce typically yields unemployment rates in excess of 25 percent.
Yet Mohave County remains in better shape than neighboring Nevada, which in May finally surpassed Michigan as the state with the highest unemployment rate, at 14 percent. No one, however, seems able to compete with North Dakota for the honor of having the lowest unemployment rate. The Peace Garden State continues to hold that distinction, with just 3.6 percent of its populous out of work.