Survey: Arizona Third In US For Underemployment

Date: August 17, 2015

Data Shows State’s GDP Growth Since 2007 Among Steepest


According to the latest 24/7 Wall Street survey, today’s US job market is continuing to see improvements following the 2009 recession. Still, many Federal and state data reports have been examining traditional unemployment rates, not looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-6, or underemployment rate. This rate, according to 24/7, includes those who are traditionally unemployed as well as those who are employed only part-time as well as “marginally attached workers,” those who aren’t looking for work and don’t have work but have an interest in working.

Individual state data for the latest survey shows that Arizona is third in the US in terms of underemployment, with an underemployment rate of 13.8%. Though the state fares a bit better in terms of its traditional unemployment rate, which at 5.9% in June made it the 12th-highest in the US, Arizona has struggled to grow its workforce and GDP since the recession. Data indicate the state saw a 4.5% decrease in its GDP from 2007 to 2014, and its work force only grew during that time by 1.9%. In particular, 24/7 draws attention to the state’s high number of part-time workers who self-identify as hoping for full-time employment, and who account for 5.9% of the state’s total 13.8% underemployment.

What This Means For Small Businesses

This new 24/7 Wall Street survey shows a mixed portrait of the economy in Arizona. Although the state has a fairly average unemployment rate, data show there are more part-time workers than typical, suggesting the state’s businesses struggle with being able to afford full-time, rather than part-time, labor. Additionally, the state’s housing market continues to be a liability in its efforts to recover from the recession, as home prices fell 22.9% between 2007 and 2014, the third-highest decline in the US. Arizona continues to face numerous challenges in growing its economy and becoming more business-friendly.

Additional Reading

NFIB recently noted hiring trends in Arizona.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

Related Content: Small Business News | Labor | Phoenix, AZ

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