Arkansas’ jobless rate rises in July

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 53 views 

The estimated number of unemployed in Arkansas increased to 100,657 during July, up over the 99,274 during June, but well below the 111,368 during July 2011.

July marks the 42nd consecutive month the Arkansas jobless rate has been above 7%.

With the uptick in unemployed, Arkansas’ jobless rate during July rose to 7.3%, up slightly over the 7.2% in June, but much better than the 8.2% in July 2011, according to figures released Friday (Aug. 17) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of employed in Arkansas during July was an estimated 1.282 million, down from the 1.287 million during June and ahead of the 1.256 million during July 2011.

Friday’s figures show a gain of 28,700 jobs in Arkansas between July 2011 and July 2012. The job tally is down almost 20,000, or 1.51% compared to the employment peak of 1.301 million during March 2008.

The BLS figures show that 44 states had jobless rate decreases in July compared to July 2011, four states saw rate increases, and two had no change. The U.S. jobless rate during July was 8.3%, up from 8.2% in June and below 9.1% during July 2011.

Oklahoma’s jobless rate was 4.9% in July, up from 4.7% in June and well below the 6.2% during July 2011. The jobless rate in Missouri during July was 7.2%, up from 7.1% during June and below the 8.6% during July 2011.

“Overall, the July employment report confirms the weakening of labor markets compared to the first part of the year — both nationally and here in Arkansas,” said Michael Pakko University of Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement chief economist and state economic forecaster.


• In the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector — Arkansas’ largest job sector — employment during July was an estimated 234,800, below the revised 234,500 during June and ahead of the 234,000 during July 2011. Peak employment in the sector was 240,400 during January 2009.

• Manufacturing jobs in Arkansas during July totaled 156,900, up from 156,200 in June and unchanged compared to July 2011. Employment in the once booming manufacturing sector fell in 2011 to levels not seen since early 1968. The June jobs figure is more than 33% below the January 2001 sector employment of 236,000.

• Government job employment during June was 221,300, down compared to the 222,100 during June but ahead of the 217,700 during July 2011.

• The state’s Education and Health Services sector during July had 173,700 jobs, up from the 173,300 during June and up from 166,400 during July 2011. Employment in the sector is up almost 30% compared to January 2002.

• Arkansas’ tourism sector (leisure & hospitality) employed 102,900 during July, down from the 104,300 during June and ahead of the 99,600 during July 2011.

• The construction sector employed an estimated 42,100 during July, below the 43,900 during June and below the 47,000 during July 2011. Employment in the sector is down more than 22% from January 2002.