Arkansas jobless rate creeps higher to 3.6%

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 96 views 

Arkansas’ unemployment rate in November rose one-tenth of a percent to 3.6%, according to state and federal workforce officials.

On Friday (Dec. 21), the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services released data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing the slight uptick in the state’s jobless rate from October to November 2018.

The U.S. jobless rate was unchanged at 3.7%.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate increased to 3.6% in November, after two months at 3.5%. The number of employed in the state increased for the second month in a row, but is still down slightly over-the-year,” said BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price.

The number of Arkansans in the state’s labor pool settled at 1,300,010 in November, up 867 workers from the previous month, but down an estimated 6,700 workers from a year ago. The number of unemployed stood at 48,184 in November 2018, an increase of 737 from October, but 2,267 workers from November 2017.

In the separately released Monthly Survey of Employers, workforce officials noted declining payroll numbers in only three of the nine major industry sectors. The other six sectors saw increases in year-over-year employment.

Professional and business services has seen a net gain of 3,400 workers since last November, despite a 2,300 worker exodus between October and November. Education and health services and the manufacturing sector have been the strongest gainers in workforce adding 2,200 and 2,000 jobs respectively over the last 12 months.

Leisure and hospitality (+1,700), trade/transportation/utilities (+1,600), construction (+1,400), and financial services (+1,300) have all seen solid jobs improvement in the last year.

Information (-800), mining and logging (-300) and the catch-all category of other services (-200) reported falling workforce numbers in a November 2017 to November 2018 comparison.

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