The recent economic downturn initially hit Arizona hard. In fact, areas like Phoenix were hit with a nine percent loss of area jobs. Phoenix was among the hardest hit cities in the US. Phoenix certainly wasn’t alone in taking on huge losses of private sector jobs. Among the nations 938 metropolitan and micropolitan areas, 91 percent of them experienced job losses during the heart of the crisis in 2008 and 2009.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Job Growth

But things are beginning to turn around for the great state of Arizona and the city of Phoenix. Things are beginning to look up and some businesses are taking deep sighs of relief while turning thoughts towards hiring new employees. In October of 2011 we began seeing real signs of improvement with unemployment dropping down to nine percent. That may not sound like much but it was one full tenth of a percent down. It’s a definite sign that things are improving for the Arizona private sector job market. In fact, private sector jobs have 91 percent of the 44,700 non-farm job gains this year in Arizona. 12,700 of these jobs were added in the month of October to account for the drop in unemployment.

Small Business Gains in Arizona During End of 2011

Further signs of life came when the November numbers arrived. Arizona saw an increase of 0.3 percent growth in small business jobs