State Capitol News
3:17 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

AZ Unemployment Numbers Drop Again

The state's jobless rate last month dropped to its lowest level in four years.

The new report puts Arizona's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 7.8 percent. That's a drop of three tenths of a point from the prior month. And Aruna Murthy of the Department of Administration said it's also the first time it's been below 8 percent since November 2008. Murthy said a lot of jobs are being created.

"Arizona had a net gain of 22,700 nonfarm jobs, considerably higher than the 10-year average of 16,900 jobs," Murthy said. "Private sector gained most of those jobs. Out of the 22,700, 21,800 jobs, roughly 96 percent of the jobs, were in the private sector."

About 11,600 of those jobs are in retail. Murthy said while that sector of the economy normally grows this time year, these gains are larger than normal. She also said there are other signs of an improving Arizona economy.

"It's the 9th consecutive month of over the year gains above 2 percent in the private sector and the largest over the year gain in nonfarm of 59,600 jobs since February of 2007," Murthy added.

Only the construction industry lost jobs. But Murthy said that's typical for November.