Arizona's unemployment rate in December was one-tenth of 1 percentage point higher than the national rate, at 7.9 percent.

Pima County's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent last month, according to the Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics.

The statewide figure is up from 7.8 percent in November.

Job gains in the private sector were slower than the job losses reported in the public sector, according to the unemployment report.

The largest job increase by type was in the leisure and hospitality sector, followed by education and health services.