Arizona unemployment rate down, but new jobs only half the story

May 17, 2012

Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percent in April, to 8.2 percent. But, only about half of that is due to more people finding jobs. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: The state added 9,300 non-farm jobs last month. That’s more than Arizona’s ten year average for the month. Aruna Murthy, Director of Economic Analysis for the state Department of Administration, says that makes up half of the drop in the unemployment rate. The other half, she says, is because people stopped looking for work. And, Murthy says, many of the new jobs aren’t necessarily permanent ones.

ARUNA MURTHY: Essentially, reacting to uncertainty is what I think is happening. The businesses are hoarding money, but they are uncertain of the climate, the economic climate that’s out there, and they aren’t sure what exactly to do, so maybe a better bet is to hire temporary employment versus permanent employment. That’s what I think is happening.

BRODIE: Arizona’s unemployment rate is now a tenth of a percent higher than the national one. Since last April, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped more than a percent -- that’s a bigger drop than the national rate over the same time period.

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