Thursday, December 1 2022

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX – Inflation could rise faster in Arizona than virtually anywhere else.
But that doesn’t stop people from going out and having fun.
This is underscored in the latest employment figures which show Arizona’s leisure and hospitality industry added 7,200 jobs in October. That’s a change of 2.2% from the previous month, a rate of increase twice as fast as the rest of the state’s private sector.
The majority of these hires are in bars and restaurants.
And it’s not just a month-long thing. These employers have added more than 9,100 workers over the past year.
Doug Walls, director of labor market information for the state’s Office of Economic Opportunity, said some of that can be attributed to a shift in consumer spending.
In 2020, he said, with the nation in a pandemic, people weren’t going out. Instead, their dollars were invested in purchasing products.
This has translated into strong increases in online shopping.
Now, Walls said, spending habits are going back to what they were before. And he said that, even with inflation prices rising, that translates to more people going out to eat – and restaurants and bars need to hire more workers.
This is reflected in a new survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association.
“Despite the growing popularity of restaurant meals and snacks in recent years, the pent-up demand for restaurant experiences – socializing, celebrating and culinary exploration – is strong,” the association said, with 70% of those responding. that they wanted to gather there.
Walls said the overall job market in Arizona was good despite the fact that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two tenths of a point to 3.9%. He said people looking for a job have plenty of opportunities.
The job creation rate increased by two tenths of a point in September compared to August, to 6.7% And the hiring rate is also up, from 3.8% in August to 4.6% in September.
What makes this significant, Walls said, is that the two rates normally track quite closely. What the widening gap shows, he said, is that employers are still looking for workers and still hiring.
Separately, Walls said the rate of “resignations” increased between August and September.
“Generally you’ll see a higher quit rate during times of economic prosperity or when individuals feel they have options in terms of the job market,” he said. “They might leave one job to go to another job that has more flexible hours, more in line with their career path or more competitive salaries.
Thursday’s report also finds continued growth in construction employment. But that could slow as the state’s housing market continues to cool, especially with mortgage interest rates continuing to rise as the Federal Reserve raises the cost of money in its effort to calm. inflation.
The number of building permits issued for new private homes fell again in September – the most recent data available – and now stands at just 4,840. This is down 381 from the same one-year period. earlier, a decrease of 6.2%.
All of this also affects the existing home market.
Walls said active listings for homes rose another 6.1% between September and October. It is now 25,253, a rate 136% higher than last year.
Other data shows that the average home stays on the market for 52 days. A year earlier it was 34 days.
Home sellers are taking note: The median listing price fell another $7,500 in October from September and now stands at $470,000 after peaking at nearly $521,000 more than a year ago. ‘a year.
All of this is creating spillovers in another sector of the state’s economy that Walls is monitoring.
Employment of ‘credit intermediaries’ has fallen by 400 over the past month and is now down 1,600 over the past year. Walls said they were people who worked at commercial banks and building societies that issue mortgages that, with slow demand, are drying up.
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On Twitter: @azcapmedia

Area / October 2022 / September / October 2021

Arizona (adj. seas) / 3.9% / 3.7% / 3.9%
Arizona / 4.1% / 4.2% / 3.7%

United States (adj. seas) / 3.7% / 3.5% / 4.6%

Apache / 9.2% / 8.9% / 7.3%
Cochise / 4.5% / 4.5% / 3.8%
Cocoonin / 4.8% / 4.6% / 4.4%
Gila / 4.2% / 4.4% / 3.7%
Graham / 3.6% / 3.6% / 3.0%
Greenlee / 3.1% / 3.1% / 2.8%
La Paz / 4.8 / 4.9% / 3.8%
Maricope / 3.4% / 3.5% / 3.2%
Mohave / 4.8% / 4.9% / 4.3%
Navajo / 5.8% / 5.7% / 5.0%
Pima / 4.0% / 4.1% / 3.6%
Final / 4.0% / 4.1% / 3.4%
Santa Cruz / 10.3% / 10.0% / 7.9%
Yavapai / 3.4% / 3.6% / 3.0%
Yuma / 17.9% / 17.1% / 12.7%

— Source: Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity

Sector / October 2022 / Change since last month / Change since last year
(All figures are in thousands)

Total non-agricultural / 3,127.4 / 31.0 / 105.6
Private sector / 2,702.7 / 30.2 / 100.0

Manufacturing / 197.8 / 0.6 / 14.8
Natural resources & mining / 13.1 / 0.2 / 0.9
Construction / 187.8 / 0.6 / 9.4
Commerce, transport, public services / 608.7 / 7.1 / 13.2
Information / 50.3 / (-0.3) / 1.0
Financial activities / 246.6 / 2.6 / (-0.4)
Professional and business services / 463.6 / 5.0 / 10.6
Private education and health services / 499.0 / 5.3 / 29.6
Leisure & hospitality / 338.3 / 7.2 / 16.9
Other benefits / 97.5 / 1.9 / 4.0
Government (including public education) / 424.7 / 0.8 / 5.6

— Source: Arizona Bureau of Economic Opportunity

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