AZ jobless rate holds at 7.9 percent in April - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AZ jobless rate holds at 7.9 percent in April

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Arizona's unemployment rate is holding steady at 7.9 percent.

Department of Administration economists reported Thursday that the state added 5,200 nonfarm jobs in April as the seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at the same level as in February and March.

The 7.9 percent rate in April compares with 8.4 percent in April 2012.

The department said six of the state's 11 economic sectors added jobs in April while four reported losses and one was flat.

The professional and business services sector had the biggest gain with 3,100 additional jobs.

Jobs, home prices and population growth are all slowly rebounding in Arizona. However, experts from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University say the state still has a long way to go.

Research professor Lee McPheters confirmed Arizona is once again a top 15 growth state for both employment and population, but we're not back to normal levels.

From 1960 to 2007, Arizona routinely ranked among the top 5 states for both employment and population growth. In the rough years from 2008 to 2011, the state dropped down to No. 48 and No. 14 in those areas.

"Last year, we finally bounced back to No. 8 for employment growth and No. 7 for population growth," said McPheters. "However, the sequester and other factors have been clouding the economy here in recent months, and the year-over-year job-growth ranking issued this March dropped Arizona down to No. 13."

He said the state will have to wait a couple more years for full recovery.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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