Arkansas’ Jobless Rate Dips Below 7% For First Time In 5 Years

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 98 views 

Arkansas’ monthly unemployment rate fell below 7% for the first time in five years and dropped for the sixth consecutive month.

New numbers released by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services showed the March jobless rate dipped two-tenths of a percent to 6.9%. One year ago, unemployment stood at 7.4%. The U.S. jobless rate was unchanged from February at 6.7%.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped below seven percent in March for the first time since January 2009. This is the sixth consecutive month that Arkansas’ jobless rate has declined,” said DWS Communications Director Becky Heflin.

Employment also climbed in March to 1,238,900, an increase of 2,400 workers from the previous month and an increase of 10,200 workers since last year. The number of unemployed fell dramatically – also by 2,400 workers from February – and is down 7,100 from a year ago as workers exited the Arkansas labor force through retirement, leaving the state, or just giving up.

In the monthly survey of employers, a separate jobs report released with labor statistics, Arkansas saw eight industry sectors achieve gains compared to one year ago, while three sectors saw year-over-year declines.

Notably, construction jobs have experienced a healthy rebound with an estimated 1,600 new jobs created in the sector in the last year.

Gainers and decliners included:

Change from March 2013 to March 2014

Mining & Logging -100
Construction +1,600
Manufacturing +400
Trade/Transportation +2,200
Information -500
Financial +600
Professional/Business +1,100
Education/Health +2,900
Leisure/Hospitality +4,400
Other +800
Government -400

You can access the full report here.