Arizona's jobless rate falls to 6.9 percent

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in September, down from 7.1 percent in August.

State economists said Thursday that by comparison, Arizona's jobless rate was 8 percent a year ago.

The national unemployment rate also decreased two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.9 in September.

According to state economists, six of the 11 major sectors added jobs and three reported losses over the month.

Arizona added 28,800 non-farm jobs in September.

Seasonal gains in government (26,900 jobs) continued through September as schools returned to normal staffing levels.

Education and health service added 2,600 jobs last month while leisure and hospitality added 1,100 jobs and professional and business services added 1,000 jobs.

Losses were primarily in construction (2,900 jobs) and manufacturing (500 jobs).