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Arizona Job Sectors Start To See Slow Recovery, Brick-And-Mortar Store Revival

More 320,000 private sector jobs in Arizona have been lost since February 2020 — and so far only 78% of them have been recovered. 

Because shopping habits changed during the pandemic to be more online focused, the trade and transportation sector had been growing.

But now, as the vaccine rollout continues, Doug Walls with the state Office of Economic Opportunity says traditional stores are seeing a revival.

"With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and just the precautions that businesses have been taking, the health precautions, we have seen more economic activity within the traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores overall over the last couple of months," Walls said.

In the most recent report from last month, trade and transportation actually shed 3,600 jobs. 

Elsewhere in the economy, Arizona bars and restaurants have come back in full force, adding nearly 57,000 jobs and surpassing employment numbers from a year earlier. 

Construction has also recovered 82% of the jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic.

Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.