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Arizona's unemployment rate is at its lowest since the '70s; here's what job-seekers should keep in mind

Arizona’s unemployment rate is now at 3.2 percent, the lowest on record since 1976. That’s when the current methodology began to be used.
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ARIZONA, USA — While gas, housing, rent and inflation are all at record highs, Arizona’s unemployment rate is at a low.

Arizona’s unemployment rate is now at 3.2%, the lowest on record since 1976. That’s when the current methodology began to be used.

3.2% unemployment rate

Doug Walls, the Labor Market Information Director for the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, said the low unemployment rate is a sign of how Arizona’s economy has grown over the last year and a half.

“With this latest report we saw over 8,000 individuals coming into labor force which is a good sign people are optimistic about their opportunities to find employment and reengage with the labor force,” Walls said.

Now employers are having to compete for candidates.

“We’re seeing increases in wages across the number of industries as the employers look to entice individuals, Walls said. "That could also mean that there’s more flexibility in the work schedule, they’re signing bonuses things like that."

Good time to switch careers 

In addition, the quit rate, the number of people voluntarily leaving their job, is up as well. Walls said that’s usually a sign of employees being confident they can quit their job and find another one relatively easily.

“Pretty consistently the hiring rate has also increased with that," he said. "That’s been a good sign to see the hiring rate also increasing."

Given where the labor market is right now, Ryan Naylor, CEO of VIVAHR said it’s the opportune time for those looking to switch careers to do so.

“I feel like if you’re looking for a time to have a career transition this is probably it,” Naylor said.

Tips for job seekers

With so many hiring, pay alone isn’t what a job-seeker should be solely focused on, according to Naylor.

“Focus on a company that’s got longevity, look for that company that’s got a history of treating people right, there’s an opportunity for movement and growth inside the organization,” Naylor said.

That’s what Derek Nielson has been focusing on as he applies for nursing positions.

“I’m really hoping to find just a good company that really cares for its nurses and just feels like a good fit,” Nielson said.

Nielson said he and his classmates who just graduated from their licensed practical nurse program have gotten rejections. But, they’re still applying.

“I really do a lot of research,” Nielson said. “I want to make sure it’s a good fit I don’t want to waste all that prep time for somewhere I’m just kind of on the fence about,” Nielson said.

Picking somewhere that will stick is important in the search too.

“Too much job-hopping actually is a red flag to recruiters now,” Naylor said. “At the current moment it doesn’t seem like a big deal but it could in the future really impact your career.”

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