Unemployment in Gilbert jumped to a record 11.3% in April, according to statistics from the Arizona Commerce Authority.
The 156.82% jump from March, when the authority measured unemployment in the town at 4.4%, is the largest jump in the 30 years of statistics the authority publishes.
It was also the first time the town had crossed 10% unemployment. The previous high was 7.3% in June 2011.
The authority’s statistics show 16,033 town residents unemployed among a labor force of 142,455.
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 and expiring May 15.
Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels declared a state of emergency in town March 16. Unemployment in Gilbert increased from 3.1% in February to 4.4%, matching the previous largest raw increases in unemployment of 1.3%. That had happened twice before—from May to June 2011, when it went from 6% to 7.3% and from 5.7% in December 2009 to 7% in January 2010.
The March increase of 41.94% from February had been the record increase before April.
There is good news for Gilbert relative to the state. Gilbert’s 11.3% percent unemployment rate is the lowest among municipalities in the state with more than 50,000 people in the 2019 U.S. census population estimates and the lowest among Maricopa County cities with at least 15,000 people.