State Capitol News
4:19 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Arizona's Jobless Rate Drops

Overall the state added 30,000 jobs between August and September. Aruna Murthy of the Department of Administration said most of those were in public education, reflecting clerical workers and others going back to work after the summer break. But the private sector did add 5,200 jobs.

"Education and health services added 3,600 jobs. Leisure and hospitality gained 1,700 jobs. Professional and business services gained 1,400 jobs," Murthy said.

Those were offset somewhat by losses in construction and retail trade. But overall private employment is still up by more than 53,000 from the same time a year earlier, enough to drop the jobless rate a tenth of a point from last month, to 8.2 percent, and far below last year's 9.4 percent unemployment rate. One area of the economy that is lagging is private sector education. Murthy said some of it appears to be due to tighter federal regulations on student loans for these private colleges.

"But the other side could be the economy's slightly improving," Murthy added. " So the likelihood of you finding a job is greater than what you had two years ago. So as the economy improves, generally people tend to want to go and work rather than go back to school.)