The state's jobless rate jumped a bit last month. But that may hide some of the good news.
On paper, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 8.3 percent. And the number of people working last month was less than in June. But economist Aruna Murthy of the state Department of Administration said Arizona always loses jobs in July. More to the point, the losses this year were only half as much as what usually happens. What also is significant is this is the fifth month in a row where the year-over-year growth in private sector employment is higher than 2 percent.
The 8.7 percent unemployment rate announced by the Department of Administration is the same rate officials had said was the figure for December. But since that time, the statistics have been through an annual benchmarking revision. So, as of now, the official state rate for December is not 8.7 percent but 9 percent. Aruna Murthy, the agency's director of economic analysis, said such adjustments are inevitable.