Arkansas’ jobless rate down to 3.2% in February, unchanged from February 2022

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 394 views 

A slight percentage increase in the number of employed compared with the number of jobless helped push Arkansas’ February unemployment rate to 3.2%, down from 3.4% in January and unchanged compared with February 2022.

The number of employed in Arkansas during February was an estimated 1,329,970, up 9,172 jobs, or 0.7%, compared with February 2022, and above the 1,326,919 in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report posted Friday (March 24). The February numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, in February was 1,373,610, up 0.7% from the 1,364,164 in February 2022, and just above the 1,373,523 in January. The state’s labor force participation rate was 57.4% in February, just below the 57.5% in February 2022.

Arkansans without jobs in February totaled 43,640, below the 46,604 in January, and 0.63% above the 43,366 in February 2022.

The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (7,500 more jobs), Leisure and Hospitality (6,000 more jobs), and Manufacturing (3,900 more jobs). February saw record employment in three large job categories: Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Leisure and Hospitality, and Construction.

Unemployment rates were lower in February in 9 states, higher in 3 states and stable in 38 states. Thirteen states had jobless rate increases from a year earlier, 10 states had decreases, and 27 states had little change.

North Dakota and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates in February at 2.1% each. The next lowest rates were in Nebraska at 2.3%, and Montana and Utah, at 2.4% each. The rates in Maryland (2.9%), Montana (2.4%), and Wisconsin (2.7%) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Nevada had the highest rate at 5.5%. In total, 17 states had rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6%, 10 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
February 2023: 276,500
January 2022: 276,00
February 2022: 269,000
February marked a new employment record for the sector.

February 2023: 208,600
January 2022: 208,500
February 2022: 207,500
Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in May 2010.

Education and Health Services
February 2023: 203,000
January 2022: 203,800
February 2022: 195,900
January marked a new employment record for the sector.

February 2023: 164,300
January 2022: 164,500
February 2022: 160,400
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in February 1995.

Professional and Business Services
February 2023: 151,700
January 2022: 152,600
February 2022: 150,600
Sector employment set a record of 156,300 in September 2022.

Leisure and Hospitality
February 2023: 126,500
January 2022: 126,500
February 2022: 120,500
January marked a new employment record for the sector.

Financial Activities
February 2023: 69,800
January 2022: 70,300
February 2022: 70,000
The sector had record employment of 71,500 in September 2022.

February 2023: 60,200
January 2022: 59,900
February 2022: 56,600
February marked a new employment record for the sector.