Arizona’s unemployment rate is below 7 percent for the first time in more than 5 years.
April’s rate was 6.9 percent, which is the most recent time the number dropped below 7 percent since August 2008, in the middle of the Great Recession.
Arizona’s unemployment rate also dropped 0.4 percent from March to April, marking its largest month-to-month drop since for more than 30 years.
Tucson’s unadjusted rate dropped to 5.5 percent, 1.1 percent lower than in April 2013.
"The drop in rate is similar overall to what the US dropped," said Aruna Murthy, Aruna Murthy, director of economic analysis for the Arizona Department of Administration’s Office of Employment and Population Statistics. "U.S. dropped from 6.7 percent in March to 6.3 percent in April. So if you consider just the unemployment rate on its own, it’s a good sign.”
But a different survey from Murthy's office shows a number that may indicate slower growth.
Arizona added 4,300 non-farm jobs in April, lower than the month’s 10-year average of 4,800.
The largest growth was seen in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 1,500 jobs.
The biggest drop in employment came in construction, which lost 1,100 jobs.