Unemployment in Chandler reaches record high, according to recent data

Chandler hit its highest unemployment rate in recent history in April 2020, according to data from the Arizona Commerce Authority. (Community Impact staff)
Chandler hit its highest unemployment rate in recent history in April 2020, according to data from the Arizona Commerce Authority. (Community Impact staff)

Chandler hit its highest unemployment rate in recent history in April 2020, according to data from the Arizona Commerce Authority. (Community Impact staff)


The city of Chandler has seen its highest unemployment rate in recent history, according to data released from the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The city's unemployment rate as of April 2020 is 11.8%—a stark contrast to the 3.5% unemployment rate the city saw in January 2020. The change in three months represents 222.86% growth.

The jump from March to April was also the largest jump in the 30 years of data the authority has published. The unemployment rate was 4.8% in March.

The economy was thrown into havoc amid the closures and restrictions in place for much of March, April and the first half of May due to the coronavirus pandemic. As closures persisted, unemployment claims soared not only in Arizona but nationally as well.

April was the first full month of business closures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with Gov. Doug Ducey’s “Stay home, stay healthy, stay connected” order in place from 5 p.m. March 31 to May 15.


Chandler's labor force as of April 2020 was 153,191. Of that number, 18,042 people were unemployed, according to the data.

Chandler's latest unemployment rate is below the overall Arizona unemployment rate, at 12.9%, as of April 2020, according to the data, with 458,154 Arizonans unemployed.

Prior to April 2020, Chandler last saw its highest unemployment rate in January 2010, with a rate of 8.2% and 10,985 unemployed out of the city's labor force.

"We had historic lows," Chandler Economic Development Director Micah Miranda said in April. "We basically had zero unemployment. If you wanted to find a job, you could’ve found a job in Chandler."

Miranda said retail and hospitality were some of the hardest-hit industries by COVID-19. In Chandler, the industry with the most jobs is high-tech manufacturing and development, with finance, insurance and real estate ranking second, according to data from the Maricopa Association of Governments. Those two industries make up more than 36,000 jobs in Chandler.

Retail, according to the data from the Maricopa Association of Governments, accounts for 13,310 jobs.

"We are anticipating unemployment to increase in Chandler," Miranda said in April. "But one of the things mayor and council have been clear on is we want to have a diversified economy, and we want to be economically resilient. We've done a good job. It makes me feel confident that while there will be disruptions, and it won't be painless, Chandler, as a specific municipality, is in a pretty good relative position, compared to the nation."
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