Slight rise in unemployed pushes Arkansas’ jobless rate up to 3.5% in September

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 441 views 

A slight increase in the number of unemployed and fewer jobs compared to August caused Arkansas’ jobless rate to increase from 3.4% in August to 3.5% in September. The September rate was unchanged from September 2021.

The number of employed in Arkansas during September was an estimated 1,306,209, up 22,512 jobs, or 1.75%, compared with September 2021, but below the 1,308,654 in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report posted Friday (Oct. 21). The September numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force in September, the number of people eligible to work, was 1,353,637, up from the 1,330,686 in September 2021 but below 1,354,290 in August. The state’s labor force participation rate was 56.8% in September, above 56.3% in September 2021, and unchanged compared to August.

Arkansans without jobs in September totaled 47,428, up from 45,636 in August, and 0.93% above 46,988 in September 2021.

The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in manufacturing (7,100 more jobs), tourism (6,500), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (6,300 more jobs). In the September report, the tourism sector reached record employment of 124,800 jobs.

Unemployment rates were lower in September in 11 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 9 states and stable in 30 states. Forty-six states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, and four states had little change. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5% in September, down from 3.7% in August and below the 4.7% in September 2021.

Minnesota had the lowest jobless rate in September at 2%. The next lowest rates were in Utah and Vermont at 2.1% each. The rates in Alaska (4.4%), Louisiana (3.4%), and Missouri (2.4%) set new series lows. All state series began in 1976. The District of Columbia had the highest jobless rate at 4.7%, followed by Illinois at 4.5%. In total, 17 states had rates lower than the U.S. rate of 3.5%, 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
September 2022: 265,200
August 2022: 266,500
September 2021: 258,400
Sector employment set a record of 268,000 in July 2022.

September 2022: 209,700
August 2022: 208,900
September 2021: 207,200
Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in May 2010.

Education and Health Services
September 2022: 198,700
August 2022: 202,000
September 2021: 194,000
August employment marked a new record for the sector.

September 2022: 164,700
August 2022: 164,900
September 2021: 157,600
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in February 1995.

Professional and Business Services
September 2022: 151,000
August 2022: 150,700
September 2021: 145,700
Sector employment set a record of 152,600 in January 2022.

Leisure and Hospitality
September 2022: 124,800
August 2022: 124,700
September 2021: 118,300
September employment marked a new record for the sector.

Financial Activities
September 2022: 68,400
August 2022: 68,700
September 2021: 66,100
August employment marked a new record for the sector.

September 2022: 56,000
August 2022: 55,200
September 2021: 55,400
The sector reached a record employment of 57,700 in February 2006.