Arkansas’ unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percent in September to 7.1% as the civilian labor force and number of unemployed fell.
The 7.1% number is a full percentage point below September 2011 and moves the state closer to ending its 44-month streak of unemployment hovering above 7%.
“The number of both employed and unemployed Arkansans declined this month, resulting in a decrease in the size of the civilian labor force. This combination of losses triggered the drop in Arkansas’ unemployment rate. This decline in the rate mirrors the trend seen at the national level,” Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said.
The September 2012 U.S. unemployment rate slid to 7.8% from 8.1% in August 2012 and 9.0% in September 2011.
In Arkansas, the civilian labor force shrunk by 2,700 from August to September, but it has actually grown by 7,300 workers since September of the previous year.
The number of employed Arkansans slid by 800 from the previous month to 1,278,500, but it was 19,300 workers greater than September 2011. The number of unemployed dipped below 100,000 to 98,300, according to DWS and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Unemployment has only fallen below 100,000 workers twice since February 2009.
In the non-farm payroll jobs report released in conjunction with the unemployment numbers, Arkansas several notable highs and lows.
On the decliner side, construction jobs fell from September 2011 to September 2012 by 3,100. Financial services lost 1,000 jobs in a year-over-year comparison. Manufacturing employment dropped 500 from the previous year.
On the growth side, leisure and hospitality jobs rose by 6,500 and education and health services employment jumped 5,300 during the past 12 months. Government jobs have risen by 2,300 during the past year, driven mainly by local school job increases. Professional and business services saw employment gains of 1,900 and the trade and transportation sector saw a 900 job increase.
You can access the full report here.