Arizona unemployment rate rises to 7 percent

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Unemployment rate up from 6.6 percent

PHOENIX -- Arizona's unemployment rate rose to 7 percent in January as the recession slammed all economic sectors. That's up from a recalculated 6.6 percent for December.

January usually sees seasonal job losses as businesses wind down from the winter holidays, but the Department of Commerce said Thursday that payroll figures were even worse than that.

The department said no sector gained jobs in January and that the biggest loss was in the trade, transportation and utilities sector with 18,900 fewer jobs.

Other big losers were the professional and business services sector with 16,400 fewer jobs and government, down 12,600 jobs.

Nonfarm employment has fallen by 155,400 jobs since January 2008. The 5.9 percent decline is the largest 12-month loss since 1939.

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