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High unemployment in Yuma not affecting Arizona

Yuma has the highest jobless rate in the nation, but that is not affecting the rest of Arizona.

The Labor Department said Yuma's unemployment rate in October was almost 30 percent.

Valley economist Elliott Pollack said Yuma's joblessness is mostly due to agriculture. Even when the rest of the state's economy was booming in 2006, Yuma unemployment stayed around 14 percent, but there was effect on the state then, nor is there now.

The Valley's jobless rate is hovering around 7 percent. Arizona unemployment continues to be about 8 percent. The state's jobless rate hasn't dropped below 8 percent since December 2008.

Arizona lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the recession and Pollack said we should be back up to pre-recession employment numbers by 2015.

"Three years ago we were 49th in the nation in job growth. Today we're number 6."

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About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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