Originally Published: February 21, 2016 8:44 a.m.
Yavapai County has been fortunate in its ability to avoid the plague of persistently high unemployment rates. Peak unemployment in the history of the county was in January of 2010 where unemployment reached a record high 11.9 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since then unemployment has steadily decreased to its current resting spot at 5 percent.
That said, unemployment does exist today. Yavapai County has a total civilian labor force of 97,207, and over 5,000 of those people are currently unemployed. Highest unemployment rates are in retail trade at 15 percent, and accommodation and food service at 13 percent. Health care and social assistance is currently at 8 percent unemployment, reflecting the fact that immigration into the county has fulfilled the increasing demand for talent that we have seen in the field leaving a balance of unemployment in this high-demand sector. Construction is at 6 percent unemployment while manufacturing and education sit at 5 percent.
Greatest unemployment exists for those members of the community with no previous work experience, with 951 people as of November requiring training and placement assistance.
Although Yavapai County continues grow its economic base, the county must continue its efforts to build economic opportunity for the citizenry to ensure a prosperous future for generations to come.
Alexandria Wright is Director Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center, which provides analysis and services that facilitate economic development throughout Yavapai County and build wealth in our local communities.