Arkansas’ June jobless rate of 2.6% marks fourth consecutive month of a record low

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 269 views 

A year-over-year gain of more than 21,000 jobs and an almost 20% drop in the number of unemployed pushed Arkansas’ June jobless rate to a new record low of 2.6%. June was the fourth consecutive month of record low jobless rates in Arkansas.

The number of employed in Arkansas during June was an estimated 1,347,866, up 21,415 jobs, or 1.6%, compared with June 2022, and above the 1,343,645 in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report posted Friday (July 21). The June numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, in June was 1,383,681, up 1% from the 1,380,778 in June 2022, and above the 1,370,828 in May. The state’s labor force participation rate was 57.6% in June, below the 57.7% in June 2022.

Arkansans without jobs in June totaled 35,815, below the 37,133 in May, and down 19.3% compared with the 44,377 in June 2022. The June number marks the lowest number of jobless in Arkansas since the series data began in 1976. The record for jobless persons was 137,037 in June 2020 when the COVD-19 pandemic began to shut down parts of the global economy.

The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in Leisure and Hospitality (10,800 more jobs), Education and Health Services (10,400 more jobs), and Construction (6,700 more jobs). As it did in May, June saw record employment in the Leisure and Hospitality, Education and Health Services, and Construction sectors.

Unemployment rates were lower in June in 11 states and stable in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-two states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 8 states and the District had increases, and 20 states had little change. The U.S. unemployment rate of 3.6% was down from 3.7% in May and unchanged compared with June 2022.

New Hampshire and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates in June at 1.8% each. The next lowest rates were in Nebraska and Vermont at 1.9% each. The rates in Arkansas (2.6%), Maryland (2%), Massachusetts (2.6%), Mississippi (3.1%), New Hampshire (1.8%), Ohio (3.4%), Oklahoma (2.7%), Pennsylvania (3.8%), and South Dakota (1.8%) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.)

Nevada had the highest rate at 5.4%. In total, 22 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6%, 3 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 25 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
June 2023: 273,900
May 2023: 273,600
June 2022: 268,500
February marked an employment record for the sector with 276,500 jobs.

June 2023: 209,300
May 2023: 209,100
June 2022: 207,300
Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in June 2010.

Education and Health Services
June 2023: 208,000
May 2023: 204,500
June 2022: 197,600
June marked a new employment record for the sector.

June 2023: 165,400
May 2023: 164,800
June 2022: 162,900
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in February 1995.

Professional and Business Services
June 2023: 150,800
May 2023: 153,400
June 2022: 153,600
September 2022 marked an employment record for the sector with 156,300 jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality
June 2023: 132,100
May 2023: 131,800
June 2022: 121,300
June marked a new employment record for the sector.

Financial Activities
June 2023: 71,100
May 2023: 71,000
June 2022: 70,600
The sector had record employment of 71,500 in September 2022.

June 2023: 63,500
May 2023: 62,700
June 2022: 56,800
June marked a new employment record for the sector.