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During February, Arizona's unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent for the fourth consecutive month, after dropping from 9.8 percent in November 2008. Unfortunately, that means the state's rate is higher than the national average, which sits at 8.9 percent.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona employed a total of 2,380,400 workers during February, which is up from 2,378,300 workers during January. However, it's the same number of employees the state had during February 2010, as only three industries added jobs over the year.
Not surprisingly, the education and health services industry continues to outrun any lingering effects of the economic downturn, increasing by 4.1 percent over the year to 354,600 jobs. That's the most growth experienced by any industry during the 12-month period.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry increased by 2 percent between February 2010 and February 2011, making for a total of 255,900 workers. Employment in the trade, transportation, and utilities industry grew by .8 percent to 472,900 jobs.
Every other industry - with the exception of mining and logging, which remained steady with 11,000 employees - continued to lose jobs throughout the last year. The construction industry saw the biggest drop, decreasing by 5.8 percent to 107,500 jobs.
Other industries that saw an over-the-year decrease in employment include:
- Other services by 3.6 percent to 85,800 jobs
- Financial activities by 1.5 percent to 161,700 jobs
- Professional and business services by 1.5 percent to 333,700 jobs
- Information by 1.4 percent to 36,100 jobs
- Government by 1.2 percent to 413,000 jobs
- Manufacturing by .1 percent to 148,200 jobs