March Unemployment Falls To 7.4% In Arkansas

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 81 views 

More Arkansans are working and fewer are unemployed.

That’s the takeaway from the latest monthly jobless report released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services today (April 20).

Arkansas March unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percent to 7.4% from February. One year ago, the state’s jobless rate stood at 8%. The U.S. unemployment rate in March dropped one-tenth of a percent to 8.2%.

State workforce officials said that a net increase in civilian labor boosted the improved rate figure. 5,500 more Arkansans were employed in March, while 1,900 fewer were unemployed.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate continues to show signs of improvement,” said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman. “The last time we experienced a rate of 7.4% was in June 2009. Additionally, March was the eighth consecutive month of employment growth.”

There are 19,500 more workers in the civilian labor force compared to one year ago. An estimated 1,286,200 Arkansans are working while 103,400 are counted in the unemployed ranks.

From February to March 2012, DWS officials said that 8 major industry sectors reported gains in employment, while two declined and one was unchanged.

Year-over-year, which provides a longer-term view of employment trends, shows that 7 major job sectors reported gains while 4 declined.

The manufacturing sector has been the hardest hit losing 5,000 net jobs in the last 12 months. The leisure and hospitality industries have added 5,200 jobs, the most of any sector.

March 2011-2012 Job Sector Employment Changes
Mining and Logging +200
Construction +300
Manufacturing -5,000
Trade, Transportation & Utilities +1,400
Information -700
Financial Activities -1,300
Professional & Business -3,000
Education & Health +4,700
Leisure & Hospitality +5,200
Other +800
Government +3,400