Arizona unemployment rate drops to 7.6 percent

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona's unemployment dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.6 percent in December as the state's economy recorded job gains.
State Department of Administration economists said Thursday that Arizona's economy added 6,900 nonfarm jobs in December with the majority in the private sector.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is at its lowest rate since October 2008. A year ago, Arizona's jobless rate was 7.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the national jobless rate dropped to 6.7 percent in December from 7.0 percent in November.
Eight of Arizona's 11 major economic sectors added jobs last month while manufacturing and construction were basically flat.
Government lost 4,200 jobs, but most were seasonal education jobs and losses are typical in December as schools break for the holidays.
Trade, transportation and utilities gained 5,600 jobs.