We’re, so, well — normal.
Gila County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.5 percent in February, as did the state and national rates.
The rate didn’t budge statewide despite the creation of 29,000 new, non-farm jobs in February, indicating people are rejoining the labor force.
The largest gains statewide showed up in leisure and hospitality (7,100), government (14,400) and professional services (5,700).
Construction remained the weakest sector, losing another 900 jobs statewide.
Overall, the state has 42,000 more jobs than at this time a year ago, with February providing the biggest year-to-year gain since the onset of the recession.
By contrast, the total number of jobs in Gila County remained virtually unchanged.
The unemployment rate in Gila County remained almost 2 percentage points above the state’s 8.7 percent and even further behind the U.S. rate of 8.3 percent.
Typically, the unemployment rate in northern Gila County remains 1 to 2 percent below the rate in southern Gila County, where extremely high rates on the San Carlos Apache Reservation skew the figures.
If those trends still hold, northern Gila County probably has an unemployment rate very close to the state and national averages.
Nationally, the economy added 227,000 jobs in February, a little below the 245,000 per month average that has persisted since December.
Moreover, nationally consumer spending rose by 0.8 percent in February, the biggest gain in seven months.