More employed in Arkansas during April

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 99 views 

The estimated number of unemployed in Arkansas during April fell more than 2,800 to 100,628, and the state’s jobless rate fell to 7.2% from 7.4% in March.

April’s jobless rate was also well below the 8% during April 2011, according to the report released Friday (May 18) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The April report also shows that Arkansas gained an estimated 3,267 jobs between March and April 2012. The number of employed in Arkansas during April was an estimated 1.289 million, up from 1.286 million in March, and 1.258 million in April 2011.

Job gains of 1,100 in education and health services, 1,500 in the tourism sector and 1,000 in trade, transportation and utilities helped boost Arkansas’ employment figures during April.

“The number of employed Arkansans increased for the ninth straight month,” noted a statement from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. “Higher employment in April contributed to the decrease in the unemployment rate. Compared to a year ago, there are 30,700 more employed Arkansans.”

However, April marks the 39th consecutive month the Arkansas jobless rate has been above 7%.

The Oklahoma jobless rate was 5% in April, down from the 5.4% during March and below the 5.9% during April 2011. Oklahoma’s jobless rate has posted below 7% since September 2010.

The Missouri jobless rate was 7.3% during April, down from 7.4% in March and well below the 8.6% during April 2011.

The U.S. rate during April was 8.1%, down from 8.2% during March and below the 9% during April 2011.

According to the BLS report, 48 states and the District of Columbia posted jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, while only one state (Maryland) had an increase and one had no change.

Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 11.7% in April. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 11.2% and 10.9%, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3%, followed by Nebraska, 3.9%, and South Dakota, 4.3%.

In the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector — Arkansas’ largest job sector — employment during April was an estimated 237,900, more than the 236,900 during March but below the 239,100 during April 2011. Peak employment in the sector during 2011 was 240,400 during January 2009.

Manufacturing jobs in Arkansas during April totaled 156,400, up from 156,200 but below the 160,600 during April 2011. Employment in the once booming manufacturing sector fell in 2011 to levels not seen since early 1968. The April jobs figure is almost 34% below the January 2001 sector employment of 236,000.

Government job employment during April was 221,600, up compared to the 221,000 during March but below the 217,800 during April 2011.

The state’s Education and Health Services sector during April had 171,200 jobs, up from 170,100 during March and up from 166,900 during April 2011. Employment in the sector us up almost 28% compared to January 2002.

Arkansas’ tourism sector (leisure & hospitality) employed 105,000 during April, above 103,500 during March and well ahead of the 100,500 during April 2011.

The construction sector employed an estimated 45,800 during April, up from 45,400 during March, but below the 47,300 during April 2011.