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Arizona's unemployment rate drops


December 07, 2006

Arizona, and other western states are boasting unemployment rates well below the national average, according to the current issue of ASU's Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast.

The national unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent in October, the lowest level recorded since May of 2001. Arizona's unemployment figure of 3.9 percent was just one of the many Western states below the national average. The other states included Utah (2.5 percent), Idaho (3.2 percent), Wyoming (3.3 percent), Montana (3.6 percent), Nevada (4.2 percent) and New Mexico (4.3 percent). Colorado's rate equaled the national average.

While the unemployment rate in California (4.5 percent) was above the national average, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the October rate as the lowest on record in a data series for the Golden State extending back to 1976,” commented Lee McPheters, contributing editor. Other Western states posting record low rates in October included Idaho and Utah . Both states also ranked among the top five in over-the-year employment growth.

The nation's lowest unemployment rate in October was in Hawaii (2.2 percent). At the opposite end of the listing was Michigan, with 6.9 percent.

The monthly Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast publishes the consensus forecasts of panels of economists in 10 Western states. Panelists are drawn from leading firms, universities and state agencies. The publication also features historical data for each state.

The Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast is published 10 times a year by the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business.

Erin Concors, Erin.Concors@asu.edu
(480) 965-9271