Editor’s note: This story is a component of The Compass Report. The quarterly Compass Report is managed by The City Wire and presented by Fort Smith-based Benefit Bank. Other supporting sponsors of The Compass Report are Cox Communications and the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
With a June jobless rate of 7.3%, Arkansas was one of six U.S. states to not see a jobless rate change compared to June 2012. Year-over-year jobless rate decreases were posted in 37 states.
Although the jobless rate remained the same compared to June 2012, the size of Arkansas’ labor force fell 1.67%, and the number of employed fell by an estimated 20,949, or down 1.66%.
The number of employed in Arkansas during June was 1.234 million, down compared to the 1.255 million in June 2012, according to a Friday (July 19) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The workforce size shrank from an estimated 1.354 million in June 2012 to 1.332 million in June.
Arkansas’ annual average jobless rate fell from 7.9% during 2011 to 7.3% during 2012.
ARKANSAS SECTOR NUMBERS
In the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector — Arkansas’ largest job sector — employment during June was an estimated 251,500, down 1,400 from the May number and ahead of the 241,000 during June 2012.
Manufacturing jobs in Arkansas during June totaled 154,300, down from the 154,400 in May and below the 155,700 in June 2012. Employment in the manufacturing sector fell in 2012 to levels not seen since early 1968. Peak employment in the sector was 247,300 in February 1995.
Government job employment during June was 214,900, up from 214,700 in May and below the 216,000 during June 2012.
The state’s Education and Health Services sector during June had 174,400 jobs, down from the 174,900 during May and up from 170,700 during June 2012. Employment in the sector is up more than 20% compared to June 2003.
Arkansas’ tourism sector (leisure & hospitality) employed 102,500 during June, up from the 102,300 during May and slightly less than the 102,600 during June 2012. At a revised 103,700, January 2013 marked a new employment high in the sector.
The BLS report also noted that 37 states had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, seven states had increases, and six states had no change. The national jobless rate was unchanged from May at 7.6%, and was down from the 8.2% in June 2012.
Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in June at 9.6%. The next highest rates were in Illinois and Mississippi, 9.2% and 9%, respectively. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 3.1%.
The June jobless rate in Oklahoma was 5.2%, up from 5.1% in May and unchanged compared to June 2012.
Missouri’s jobless rate during June was 6.9%, up from 6.8% in May but below the 7% in June 2012.