The number of officially unemployed people in Santa Cruz County reached its highest mark in three years in August, according to new state data.
There were 2,422 people on the unemployment rolls in the county last month, according to a report released last Thursday by the Arizona Department of Economic Opportunity. That was the most since August 2016, when 2,488 people were reported as unemployed.
The local jobless rate reached 12 percent in August, the second-worst figure among Arizona’s 15 counties, ahead of only Yuma (23 percent).
August is typically one of the worst employment months of the year in the local area, as it falls during the heart of the produce import offseason.
The county’s unemployment rate usually begins trending down in September or October, reaching its lowest levels of the year in April or May. The lowest jobless rate recorded this year in Santa Cruz County was 6.5 percent in April, when total unemployment claims were at 1,246 – nearly half the number reported in August.
There were 17,771 people employed in Santa Cruz County in August, down from a yearly high of 18,090.
The statewide jobless rate in August was 5 percent, up slightly from 4.9 percent in July. The national rate was unchanged last month at 3.7 percent.