For the first time since March of this year, Arkansas’ jobless rate went backwards.
October 2011 unemployment fell one-tenth of a percent to 8.2% for the month, down from 8.3% in September. Still, the state jobless rate was higher than one year ago when unemployment stood at 7.9%.
State workforce officials said that Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose 6,900, as 7,500 more Arkansans were employed and 600 fewer left the jobless rolls.
The U.S. jobless rate also declined one-tenth of a percentage point, down to 9.0% in October.
“This is the first time Arkansas’ unemployment rate has declined since March 2011. The drop in the rate relates to a gain of 7,500 employed, which is the largest monthly employment increase of the year,” said Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Communications Director Kimberly Friedman.
SECTOR GAINS & LOSSES
From September to October, there were seasonal gains in government employment, education and health services, and professional business services.
Construction employment declined as did jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector between the two months.
In a year-over-year comparison, nonfarm payroll jobs actually decreased by 1,200 workers.
Manufacturing employment has been the hardest hit, losing 6,400 jobs since last October as the spate of layoffs and plant closures announced in recent months takes its toll.
Trade, transportation, and utilities posted a decline of 2,900 jobs. The retail trade sub-sector accounted for most of the job losses, offset by slight gains in transportation, warehousing and utilities.
Government job growth — mostly at the local level for public schools — grew by 4,000 workers in the last year. Jobs in educational and health services rose 1,900, with a majority of the increase occurring in heath care and social assistance.
Financial activities, such as banks, investment firms and insurance companies, added 1,200 jobs during the last 12 months.
You can read the full DWS jobs report at this link.