Yearly Economic Growth Greater Than Expected
Despite gaining some 4,000 private sector jobs in December, Arizona's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is holding at 8.7 %.
The Department of Administration says the month's lackluster performance comes from above-average losses in government jobs, primarily in public education.
Still, even with the slow growth, the Department's Rick van Sickle says the state is ahead of where forecasters thought they would be.
He says economists thought the state would see 0.7 % growth over the year.
But the economy grew at 1%.
"You dont' see it in the monthly figure so much," said Van Sickle, "because the monthly figure doesn't look that good, but for the whole 12 months, we're actually doing a little bit better than what we had thought."
Van Sickle went on to say that if growth continues that this pace, the state would most likely surpass next year's forecast of 1.2% growth.