Arkansas’ jobless rate ticks higher to 3.4% in August

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 312 views 

Arkansas job numbers declined between July and August, pushing the jobless rate from 3.3% to 3.4% in August. The jobless rate was better than the 3.8% in August 2021, and year-over-year job growth was estimated at 28,185. The U.S. rate in August was 3.5%.

The number of employed in Arkansas during August was an estimated 1,308,871, up 28,185 jobs, or 2.15%, compared with August 2021, but below the 1,311,429 in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report posted Friday (Sept. 16). The August numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, in August was 1,354,414, up from the 1,330,686 in August 2021, but below the 1,356,042 in July. The state’s labor force participation rate was 56.8% in August, above the 56.4% in August 2021, but below the 57% in July.

Arkansans without jobs in August totaled 45,633, up from the 44,613 in July, but below the 50,090 in August 2021.

The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in Trade, Transportation & Utilities (10,000 more jobs), manufacturing (up 7,600 jobs), and tourism (up 6,600 jobs). Employment records were set in August in the Education & Health Services sector (201,900), tourism (124,700), and Financial (68,800).

Unemployment rates were higher in August in 16 states and stable in 34 states and the
District of Columbia, the BLS reported. All 50 states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier.

Minnesota had the lowest August jobless rate at 1.9%. The next lowest rates were in New Hampshire and Utah at 2% percent each. The Louisiana rate of 3.5% set a new series low (all state series begin in 1976). The District of Columbia had the highest rate at 5.1%, followed by New York at 4.7%. In total, 17 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. rate of 3.7%, 8 states and the District had higher rates, and 25 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
August 2022: 267,100
July 2022: 268,000
August 2021: 257,100
Sector employment set a record of 268,000 in July 2022.

August 2022: 208,800
July 2022: 208,700
August 2021: 206,600
Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in July 2010.

Education and Health Services
August 2022: 201,900
July 2022: 201,600
August 2021: 196,900
August employment marked a new record for the sector.

August 2022: 164,800
July 2022: 164,400
August 2021: 157,200
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in August 1995.

Professional and Business Services
August 2022: 150,700
July 2022: 150,000
August 2021: 146,800
Sector employment set a record of 152,600 in January 2022.

Leisure and Hospitality
August 2022: 124,700
July 2022: 123,600
August 2021: 118,100
August employment marked a new record for the sector.

Financial Activities
August 2022: 68,800
July 2022: 68,200
August 2021: 66,100
August employment marked a new record for the sector.

August 2022: 55,200
July 2022: 55,300
August 2021: 55,400
The sector reached record employment of 57,700 in February 2006.