State Capitol News
2:37 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

Jobless Rate Remain Unchanged

Phoenix, AZ – The Department of Commerce pegged the seasonally adjusted
unemployment rate at 9.6 percent. You may recall hearing at the
time the rate was 9.4 percent. Well, it turns out that wasn't
accurate. Using new year-end data, agency officials recalculated
the figures for the last two years. Not only does it turn out
that the real December rate was 9.6, but that it actually peaked
at 10.4 percent in November of 2009 -- when the agency was
telling everyone the rate was just 9.3 percent. The agency's
Aruna Murthy said the new numbers make it unlikely the rate will
drop below 9 percent any time this year. But Murthy said she
remains convinced that companies will be hiring -- eventually --
to keep up with increased demand for products and services.

(We have observed that they have paid employees a little bit more
and they are squeezing more out of the employees. And that can go
on only for a short period of time. Either they need to hire more
people, or people will start leaving. That's how generally things
work.)

Murthy said there already are some indications that companies
which laid off workers during the last two years are beginning to
hire.

(But, again, it'll take some time. It's not going to be like how
it has happened in the past, that we start seeing a gain in
employment numbers very quickly.)

For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.