Unemployment numbers down nationwide, but what does that mean for Arizona?

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new report Friday with statistics on the economy.

The report says the unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time since 2009, to 7.8 percent. The Obama administration is touting the numbers as a success. However, only 144,000 jobs were added, and some Republicans say the numbers fail to take into account people who have stopped looking for work.

The latest numbers in Arizona show a year long decline in unemployment, settling at 8.5 percent in August. New numbers are expected to be released next week.
A steady stream of job-seekers filed into Phoenix Workforce Solutions Friday.
“I’ve been looking for just about anything,” said Dale Rhodes, who lost his job in August of 2011. “It’s discouraging, but I have to keep a positive attitude.”
Rhodes had to sell his car after losing his job, and rides into Workforce Solutions on his bike nearly every day.
“Looking for work is an eight hour job. You need to be doing it eight hours a day,” he said.
Darcy Van Dyke has a college degree and spent years in online education admissions, but has not found a job despite a year of searching.
“It’s been difficult,” she said. “When you have a certain level of education and a certain level of expectations, it’s hard to take a huge pay cut.”
Both Rhodes and Van Dyke feel that they have had a hard time finding work because they are too highly skilled for the entry level positions that frequently become available.
However, like the Democrats and Republicans, both have a different take on what today’s jobs report will mean for them.
“Those figures are kind of a fantasy anyway. I don’t necessarily believe those numbers,” said Rhodes.
“It’s exciting news, because that means they’re starting to hire again, and for me personally, maybe that job is sitting there sooner than later” said Van Dyke.