Arizona's job market on slow path to recovery

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Improving the job market in the Valley is a slow process, but some economists say we’re starting to see improvement.

Arizona’s unemployment rate sits at 8 percent, which is just above the national average of 7.4 percent.

Economist Kathleen Lee with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council says she expects improvement ahead.

“It’s going to take two to three years to fully recover,” said Lee. “We’re about halfway there or less than halfway there, in terms of jobs.”

If you’re looking for work, Lee says industries like administrative work, healthcare, tourism, hospitality and construction have been hiring.

In the past three years, Lee says Arizona has recovered 17 percent of the construction jobs lost since the recession five years ago.

“We are seeing growth in the Phoenix region and Arizona. We’re one of the top growth markets in the country and we’ll continue to see that,” said Lee. “We’re very optimistic that we’ll come out ahead of other regions.”