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PHOENIX -- Arizona's unemployment rate has dropped for the third straight month, falling to 7.8 percent as the economy added jobs in nearly all sectors.

The October unemployment rate was 8.1 percent.

Department of Administration economists report that the state's economy added 22,700 jobs in November, the largest November gain since 2005.

Nine economic sectors added jobs in November, while one sector -- construction -- lost jobs. The natural resources and mining sector was flat.

The biggest gain was recorded in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, with 12,800 additional jobs.

Gov. Jan Brewer is hailing the report, saying it provides reason for optimism.

Brewer notes that the state's unemployment is now 3.4 percentage points below its peak in January 2010.

In a statement released by the Governor's Office, Brewer said, "This doesn't mean our work is over. Joblessness remains a struggle for too many of our friends and neighbors.

"As we move into 2013, I pledge to work with the Arizona Legislature in continued pursuit of the policies that have driven our economic recovery and which remain key to Arizona's long-term prosperity: lean regulations, a competitive tax code and effective classrooms."

Associated Press,

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