Arkansas’ November unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent to 7% in November, according to labor force data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. It is the lowest jobless rate the state has seen in 2012.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7% was nearly a full point lower than one year ago when the November jobless rate stood at 7.9%.

The U.S. jobless rate also fell by two-tenths to 7.7% in November.

There was once again a contraction of the state’s labor force. Arkansas’ civilian labor force decreased 8,700, a result of 6,300 fewer employed and 2,400 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

“Decreases in the number of employed and unemployed caused a decline in the size of the civilian labor force, which led to a drop in the rate this
month,” said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman. “Arkansas’ unemployment rate has trended downward so far this year, ranging from a high of 7.6 percent in January and February to a low of 7.0 percent in November.”

YEAR-OVER-YEAR SECTOR CHANGES
In the monthly survey of employers report, Arkansas workforce officials noted that 6 major industry sectors have produced gains in the past 12 months, while 5 have declined.

Since November 2011, these industry sectors have showed the following gains and losses in workforce size:

Trade, transportation, and utilities +6,900
Leisure and hospitality +3,800
Educational and health services +2,600
Government +1,600
Mining and logging +200
Other +200
Construction -3,700
Financial activities -900
Professional and business -700
Information – 300
Manufacturing -200