Arizona unemployment rate doubled to 12.6% in April

A four-way intersection is empty in downtown Phoenix Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Cities across Arizona are tightening their belts and revising previously rosy budget forecasts as they begin to feel the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak now shutting down much of the economy across the state. Phoenix now faces a projected $26 million shortfall instead of a $28 million surplus as a result of the coronavirus impact. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona’s unemployment rate doubled in April as the travel industry and other major parts of the state’s economy staggered from business shutdowns and other impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

The state Office of Economic Opportunity on Thursday reported that seasonally adjusted nonfarm unemployment in April rate rose to 12.6%, up from 6.1% in March and 4.8% in April 2019.

The April report said the state’s economy lost 283,300 jobs, nearly all in the private sector and with nearly all industries recording jobs losses.

The leisure and hospitality sector led the downturn with 122,600 fewer jobs. Other sectors with the biggest jobs losses were trade, transportation and utilities (57,400), education and health services (37,200) and professional and business services (29,800).

The March unemployment monthly report released April 16 covered only the downturn’s very beginning, but the April report began to tally the huge job losses that occurred as restaurants, hotels, retail shops and many other businesses either shut down or dramatically scaled back their operations.

The timing of the April report means additional jobs losses experienced since mid-April won’t be tallied in a monthly report until the May report is released in June.

The state Department of Economic Security is reporting new unemployment claims that extend beyond the April report released Thursday. This month alone, the department has logged more than 105,000 additional claims, meaning the unemployment rate could be above 15% now.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.