/ Modified dec 19, 2013 3:13 p.m.

AZ Unemployment Rate Down in November

7.8% jobless, down from October's 8.2%; retail shopping season ramp-up, overall improvement cited.



Arizona’s unemployment rate took a significant drop in November, to 7.8 percent.

That’s tied for the lowest number for the state since late 2008. It still falls well below the national average of 7 percent.

Major gains came in annual holiday retail jobs.

“So the retail trade gained about 12,500 people," said economist Aruna Murthy, "And this was preparation for the upcoming holiday season.”

The last time the unemployment percent was this low came in May, but it has since jumped as high as 8.3% before dropping back down this month.

If current trends continue, 2014 should see further drops in the rate.

“If you look at overall non-farm job gains since 2009," said Murthy, "things are gradually improving. I think the next year will certainly be a better year overall compared to job gains than this year.”

The November unemployment rate was slightly lower than much of the last 12 months, so Murthy's prediction could mean further drops.

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