TUCSON, Ariz. - There was good news for the economy Friday. For May, unemployment nationwide fell to 3.8 percent. That's the lowest it's been in 18 years.
Things are good in Arizona but not quite that good.
Unemployment is 4.1 percent in Pima County for April. That's better than the statewide figure of 4.4 percent.
Our local economy is showing a lot of strength and a lot of growth.
State job stats say in the past year employment in the Pima County region has jumped 8.6 percent overall.
Construction employment rose 7.1 percent
Natural resources and mining went up 6.3 percent
Aerospace rose 5.9 percent
Health care is up 2 percent
Wholesale Trade is down 2.6 percent
Retail is down a half percent.
At Pima County's One-Stop Job Center, Charles Casey, “So the only weakness that we continue to see is retail. Everything else is very strong. And even in retail, there's there's turnover. So there's always jobs occurring day to day there's always jobs available, >
Casey says there are plenty of jobs available for people with a wide range of skills from advanced to fairly basic. But there's a hitch. It's true for the national job market and the job market in southern Arizona. For most people wages are not going up very much.
At the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona they say about 90 percent of their clients have jobs but still need help.
Outreach specialist Nadia Khatib connects them with assistance. She says, “Well, there was the minimum wage increase that happened last year, and it's supposed to increase again, and we do see people that are still struggling, even with that increase, where they may just qualify out of government benefits where they make just a little too much to qualify, but are still kind of unable to make those ends meet and rely on the Food Bank and donations"
State economists do expect our job count to keep growing about 3.4 percent for close to 14 thousand new jobs next year.