Arkansas’ December jobless rate was 3.6%, up from 3.3% in December 2021

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 400 views 

Arkansas’ December jobless rate of 3.6% was better than the 3.7% in November, but is higher than the 3.3% in December 2021. The labor force participation rate improved, but the number of unemployed Arkansans rose almost 13%.

The number of employed in Arkansas during December was an estimated 1,303,039, up 15,873 jobs, or 1.23%, compared with December 2021, and above the 1,302,443 in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report posted Tuesday (Jan. 24). The December numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, in December was 1,352,115, up 1.6% from the 1,330,743 in December 2021, and above the 1,351,852 in November. The state’s labor force participation rate was 56.5% in December, above the 56.2% in December 2021.

Arkansans without jobs in December totaled 49,076, below the 49,409 in November, and 12.6% above the 43,577 in December 2021.

The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in manufacturing (5,200 more jobs), Education an Health Services (5,000 more jobs) and Leisure and Hospitality (4,100 more jobs). The Professional and Business Services sector posted a year-over-year loss of 3,500 jobs.

Utah had the lowest jobless rate in December at 2.2%. The next lowest rates were in North Dakota and South Dakota at 2.3% each. The rates in Alaska (4.3%) and Pennsylvania (3.9%) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 5.2%. In total, 14 states had jobless rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.5%, 11 states and the District had higher rates, and 25 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

In December, seven states had over-the-month unemployment rate increases, the largest of which was in Nevada (+0.3 percentage point). Five states had over-the-month decreases, the largest of which was in Maryland (-0.3 percentage point). Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
December 2022: 266,700
November 2022: 265,900
December 2021: 262,700
Sector employment set a record of 268,000 in July 2022.

December 2022: 209,400
November 2022: 209,600
December 2021: 208,900
Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in May 2010.

Education and Health Services
December 2022: 199,800
November 2022: 198,700
December 2021: 194,800
Sector employment marked a new record of 202,000 in August 2022.

December 2022: 164,400
November 2022: 164,200
December 2021: 159,200
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in February 1995.

Professional and Business Services
December 2022: 148,600
November 2022: 148,800
December 2021: 152,100
Sector employment set a record of 152,600 in January 2022.

Leisure and Hospitality
December 2022: 124,700
November 2022: 124,800
December 2021: 120,600
Sector employment marked a new record of 124,800 in November 2022.

Financial Activities
December 2022: 69,000
November 2022: 68,700
December 2021: 66,300
December employment marked a new record for the sector.

December 2022: 55,700
November 2022: 54,700
December 2021: 56,100
The sector reached record employment of 57,700 in February 2006.