Big drops in jobless claims in Graham, Greenlee

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

PHOENIX — There was a significant decrease in the unemployment rates in both Graham and Greenlee counties in March.

That’s according to data released Thursday by the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Graham County’s jobless rate fell eight-tenths of a percentage point, to 2.5 percent in March, the first time local unemployment has been under 3 percent since April 2023. Graham shares the second-lowest rate in the state with Maricopa County.

The unemployment rate in Greenlee County also dropped in March, to 2.1 percent. It’s the seventh month in a row unemployment has been under 3 percent in Greenlee, and the 28th consecutive month Greenlee has had the lowest unemployment in the state.

The unemployment rate in nearby Cochise County dropped nine-tenths of a point in March, falling to 3.4 percent.

Statewide, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped three-tenth of a point in March, to 3.8 percent, which is two-tenths of point higher than the same time last year. The national rate fell one-tenth of a point to 3.8 percent.

Job gains were reported in five economic sectors: Leisure and hospitality (up 1,700 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (up 1,400 jobs); private education and health services (up 1,200 jobs); government (up 800 jobs); and natural resources and mining (up 200 jobs).

Reporting job losses were: Financial activities (down 1,700 jobs), manufacturing (down 800 jobs), information (down 400 jobs), construction (down 300 jobs), and professional and business services (down 300 jobs).