Job numbers dip but Arkansas’ jobless rate remains at 4.4%

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 429 views 

Arkansas’ number of employed and the size of the labor force declined in June compared to May, but the state’s jobless rate remained at 4.4% for the fourth consecutive month. Job gains were up 4.5% in June compared with June 2020.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report posted Friday (July 16) showed that Arkansas’ jobless rate of 4.4% in June was well below the 7.8% in June 2020.

The number of employed in Arkansas during June was an estimated 1,298,059, up 55,464 jobs compared with June 2020, but just below the 1,298,809 in May. The June numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

The state’s labor force – the number of people eligible to work – was 1,357,922 in June, up compared with the 1,347,387 in June 2020, and below the 1,358,172 in May. Arkansans without jobs in June totaled 59,863, up from 59,363 in May but well below the 104,792 in June 2020.

The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in Professional and Business Services (11,900 more jobs), Leisure & Hospitality (up 11,500 jobs) and Manufacturing (up 8,800 jobs).

Unemployment rates were lower in June in 7 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 40 states. Forty-nine states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier. The national unemployment rate was 5.9% well below the 11.1% in June 2020. Connecticut and New Mexico had the highest unemployment rates in June at 7.9%, followed by Nevada at 7.8%. Nebraska and Utah had the lowest jobless rates at 2.5% and 2.7%, respectively. In total, 28 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 5.9%, 12 states had higher rates, and 10 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Jobs in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector – the state’s largest job category – was 250,700 in June, down from 250,900 in May and above from the 244,700 in June 2020. The sector reached record employment of 253,700 in January 2020.

The Government sector employed 204,000 in June, down from the 205,500 in May and below the 206,200 in June 2020. Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in May 2010.

The Education and Health Services sector employed 189,500 in June, up from 188,800 in May and above the 183,500 in June 2020. February 2020 set a record for sector employment at 195,300.

Arkansas’ manufacturing sector had 161,000 jobs, below the 161,700 in May and up from the 152,200 jobs in June 2020. Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in July 1995.

Professional and Business Services employed 146,100 in June, up from 144,600 in May and well above the 134,200 June 2020. The sector reached record employment of 147,100 in January 2020.

The state’s Leisure and Hospitality (tourism) sector had 111,100 jobs in June, up from 110,800 in May and above the 99,600 in June 2020. The sector first reached an employment record of 122,900 in December 2019.

The Financial Activities sector had 64,700 jobs in June, up from 64,600 in May and up from the 63,500 in June 2020. The June jobs number marks a new record employment for the sector.

The Construction sector had 53,300 jobs in June, down from 53,700 in May and up from the 52,400 in June 2020. The sector reached record employment of 54,700 in November 2020.