employment
Arizona Fourth in Job Recovery, Per Federal Report

January 26, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona ranked fourth in the nation for job recovery according to the latest report from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) statistics department. The state had 331,500 jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but 345,900 jobs recovered through last December — an addition of 14,400 jobs, or over 104 percent. 

Utah, Idaho, and Texas, in that order, outranked Arizona for job recovery. All three surpassed 100 percent job recovery, while the remainder of the states in the top 20 fell anywhere between 99 and 81 percent recovery.

16 out of the top 20 states in job recovery have Republican governors, as pointed out by the Republican National Committee (RNC) research team. The four states with Democratic governors to rank within the top 20 were North Carolina at 10th place, Colorado at 13th place, Washington at 16th place, and Kentucky at 20th place. However, both North Carolina and Kentucky have a Republican majority in their state legislatures. 

According to DOL mapping on their report, states with the highest unemployment rates as of last December were California, Nevada, New York, and New Jersey.

In a press release, RNC spokesperson Ben Peterson asserted that Republican policies were stronger enough to offset the negative impacts of the supply chain crisis, inflation, and overall economic downturn prolonged or ushered in by the Biden Administration’s policies.

“Arizona is a beacon of Republican leadership that has delivered a strong economic recovery in spite of significant headwinds like crushing Bidenflation and the supply chain crisis,” said Peterson. “While Democrat-run states try to shut down free enterprise, Republican-led states like Arizona are building strong economies and helping everyday people to get ahead.”

Reuters reported last week on DOL numbers reflecting the third straight week of an increase in unemployment claims. The Census Bureau reported that 8.8 million people reported not going to work between December 29 and January 10 due to COVID-19, likely related to the omicron surge. 

In its press release, the DOL said that 48 states reported a decrease in jobless rates from the previous year, 42 states reduced their unemployment rates in December, and eight states maintained stable job rates in December.

Last week, Governor Doug Ducey’s office announced that the state had added over 400,000 new jobs since 2015 and attained the lowest unemployment rate since 2007 despite two years of a pandemic: 4.1 percent.

Ducey indicated last December that Arizona would boast one of the highest rankings in job recovery nationwide based on state reports. The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) at the time reported that the state had recovered 101 percent of jobs lost during the pandemic, compared to the nation’s 83 percent recovery at the time. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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