/ Modified jan 19, 2017 2:18 p.m.

Arizona Unemployment Hits 9-Year Low: 4.8%

Statistics show strong signs of economic growth in the state.

December 2016 unemployment spot A chart showing unemployment in Arizona for December 2016.
Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona's unemployment rate continues to drop, and is now the lowest it has been since February 2008.

The percentage of Arizonans looking for work went down two-tenths of a percentage point in December, and is now perched 0.1 percent above the U.S. average.

And, according to the state office that computes the number, the statistics behind the rate show job growth continues in Arizona.

In the past, drops in unemployment occurred when people quit looking for jobs and dropped out of the labor force. But that has not been the case lately.

"We did see an increase in labor-force participation over the month," said the Arizona Department of Administration's Doug Walls. "We saw an increase in employment levels and a decrease unemployment levels.”

December capped off a year of economic growth in Arizona. The state added 32,000 jobs, all of which were in the private sector. Education and Health Services saw the most growth, adding 14,600 jobs.

Hourly wages also increased in 2016, ending the year up 3.3 percent.

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