By Eric Jay Toll

The unadjusted unemployment rate in Greater Phoenix recently dropped to 2.4 percent, down nearly three-quarters of a point from February’s 3.1 percent and half of last year’s 5.4 percent unemployment rate in March. Robust hiring brought the Phoenix metro workforce to nearly 2.5 million people in March, up 110,800 from March last year. (Editor’s note: March data is the latest information available as of press time.)

Hospitality (up 17,600 jobs in year-over-year comparisons) and retail (up 14,400 jobs in March 2022 over March 2021) showed strong gains recovering to nearly pre-pandemic levels. The professional, scientific, and technical sectors continued a strong hiring trend, remaining among the top three industries for the fourth month in a row, adding 11,100 new hires in March over last year. Nearly all the reported professional, technical and scientific hires were in Greater Phoenix this past year. Healthcare hiring was fourth with 9,100 new hires.

Manufacturing added more jobs than construction, with 5,400 new hires on the production lines compared to 4,000 building new developments in year-over-year job growth.

Arizona saw its unemployment rate continue to come in below the U.S. rate, a 3.3 adjusted unemployment rate in Arizona, compared to the national 3.6 rate. Most hiring elsewhere in the state was in the retail, construction, healthcare, and government sectors.

Greater Phoenix continues its gains in the advanced industry sectors: technology, bioscience healthcare, manufacturing, and business and financial services. In the four advanced industries, Greater Phoenix has added 130,900 advanced industry jobs since April 2020, the first month in which the pandemic affected employment, which account for more than half of all new jobs since the beginning of the pandemic.