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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
12:42 AM Sun, Oct. 21st

The New Yavapai Economy: Employment & the holiday season

On par with the growth in jobs experienced in the last couple years of the recovery, the Prescott MSA region has displayed year over year growth in employment as of November. According to the Arizona Department of Employment and Population Statistics, total civilian labor force in Prescott MSA grew by 2,500 year over year in November. Month over month, however, the region lost 300.

The manufacturing sector added 100 jobs, trade, transportation and utilities added 900 jobs, professional and business services added 400 jobs showing a 9.1 percent increase, educational and health services added 500 jobs reflecting a 4.3 percent increase, and leisure and hospitality added 500 jobs at a 5.4 percent increase. Natural resources and construction exhibited a loss of 200 jobs, mostly in natural resource extraction. Informational technologies and financial activity sectors remained even over the past year.

That said, leisure and hospitality numbers month over month in the Prescott MSA have exhibited a down turn, seemingly an anomaly given the holiday season. Overall, the state of Arizona showed growth in these numbers adding 10,500 jobs in the sector year over year, and 3,600 jobs from October to November. Both Prescott and Flagstaff MSAs, however, have seen a decrease in employment in leisure and hospitality from October to November. Flagstaff MSA reflected a similar trend to Prescott, growing by 300 year over year in November, yet showing a loss from October to November this year of 1,100 jobs. Specifically, Prescott MSA lost 300 jobs in the sector over the last month, while Flagstaff lost 700. The remaining metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the state are displaying typical growth month over month in this sector.

Given the propensity of the two northern MSAs in the state to have an abundance of microenterprises and small business owners, this phenomena is likely due to implications of new state and county minimum wage and sick leave laws. While, these numbers may be alarming, year over year growth remains positive across good paying industry sectors with entrepreneurial activity up in small business starts and capital infusion in the region. In sum, the new economy in Yavapai continues to trend upward and can be sustained with the commitment of local public, private, and nonprofit agencies to work together in spurring accessible information for development and providing effective training for in-demand labor, elements that pave the path toward a fruitful future for all community members of Yavapai County.

Alexandria M. Wright is the director of the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center. The Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center provides analysis and services that facilitate economic development throughout Yavapai County and build wealth in our local communities.