According to data from Arizona’s Office of Economic Opportunity, job numbers in the Cochise County economy held steady in the 12 months ended August. The government sector picked up 100 jobs for 12-month job growth of 0.9 percent. Within government, state and local government jobs were up by 200 (3.2 percent) partially offset by the loss of 100 federal government jobs (-2.1 percent).

Overall job gains in the government sector were offset by the loss of 100 jobs (-0.5 percent) in the private sector for the 12 months ended August. Within the private sector, goods-producing jobs were up by 100 (5 percent) all of which were in construction and mining (7.1 percent). Manufacturing job numbers stabilized in the 12 months ended August.

Private-sector service jobs were down by 200 (-1 percent) with the loss of 200 educational and health services jobs (-4.3 percent) and 100 professional and business services jobs (-2.8 percent) partially offset by the gain of 100 trade, transportation, and utilities jobs (1.8 percent). Job numbers stabilized in information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and other services in the 12 months ended August.

In month-to-month comparisons, Cochise County job numbers were up by 600 from July to August led by seasonally expected gains in the government sector with the start of the new school year. State and local government added 700 jobs while federal government dropped 100 jobs from July to August.

Cochise County’s private-sector job numbers stabilized overall from July to August. Private-sector service jobs held steady with the gain of 100 professional and business services jobs offset by the loss of 100 jobs in educational and health services. Job numbers held steady in trade, transportation, and utilities, along with information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and other services.

Cochise County’s goods-producing job numbers also stabilized from July to August holding steady across manufacturing, construction and mining.

According to OEO figures, Cochise County’s unadjusted unemployment rate increased from 5.7 to 6.0 percent from July to August. The August rate was up slightly from 5.9 percent in August 2017. Unadjusted city-level unemployment rates for August were: Benson, 5.5 percent; Bisbee, 4.0 percent; Douglas, 7.7 percent; Huachuca City, 7.1 percent; Sierra Vista, 5.6 percent; Tombstone, 2.5 percent; and Willcox, 5.7 percent.

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent from July to August (down from 4.7 percent in August 2017). The national unemployment rate stabilized at 3.9 percent in August (down from 4.4 percent in August 2017). The national rate further dropped to 3.7 percent in September—its lowest level since 1969.

DR. ROBERT CARREIRA is chief economist at the Cochise College Center for Economic Research. He can be reached at Robert@CochiseEconomy.com. Visit the CER website at CochiseEconomy.com.