Arkansas Unemployment Rate Fell to 5.6 Percent in January

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LITTLE ROCK, AR – There’s another drop to report in Arkansas’ unemployment rate.

It fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.6 percent in January.

That’s according to labor force data produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released today by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS). The numbers also show Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose 9,200, a result of 9,100 more employed and 100 additional unemployed Arkansans. 

At 5.7 percent, the United States’ jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in January.

“Between December and January, employment in Arkansas rose 9,100. There are now 38,000 more employed in the state, compared to January 2014,” said DWS Communications Director Becky Heflin.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment declined 18,000 in January to total 1,190,400. Nine major industry sectors posted losses, while one sector increased and one remained stable. Jobs in government fell 6,100. Declines in state (-4,300) and local (-1,500) government were attributed to the closure of public schools and universities for winter break. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities dropped 6,000. Losses were mostly seasonal, related to the end of temporary holiday hiring. Manufacturing decreased 2,400, affecting both nondurable (-1,400) and durable (-1,000) goods manufacturing. Jobs in educational and health services are down 1,100, spurred by seasonal losses. Leisure and hospitality declined 1,100, mostly in food services (-1,000).

Since January 2014, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 29,500. Nine major industry sectors posted growth, with six adding 2,600 or more jobs, each. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 7,700. Expansions occurred in all three subsectors. Leisure and hospitality added 6,700 jobs, largely in food services (+5,600). Professional and business services rose 5,400. Most of the gains were in administrative and support services (+3,900), which includes employment agencies. Jobs in construction increased 3,300, with specialty trade contractors reporting a majority of the growth (+2,200). Educational and health services added 2,600 jobs, mostly in health care and social assistance (+2,400). Employment in manufacturing rose 2,600. Durable goods manufacturing reported an increase of 1,700 jobs.

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