Arkansas’ July jobless rate remains at a record low of 2.6%

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 239 views 

Year-over-year job gains Arkansas during July outpaced labor force growth which helped keep the state’s jobless rate at a record low of 2.6%, and was well below the 3.3% in July 2022. The labor force participation rate in July was 57.7%, a tick higher than the 57.6% in July 2022.

The number of employed in Arkansas during July was an estimated 1,351,403, up 26,170 jobs, or 2%, compared with July 2022, and above the 1,347,851 in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report posted Friday (Aug. 18). The July numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, in July was 1,386,974, up 1.2% from the 1,370,797 in July 2022, and above the 1,383,731 in June.

Arkansans without jobs in July totaled 35,571, below the 35,880 in June, and down 22% compared with the 45,564 in July 2022. The July 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 July 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 (9,800 more jobs), Education and Health Services (9,500 more jobs), and Construction (5,800 more jobs). July saw record employment in the Leisure and Hospitality (tourism) sector.

Unemployment rates were lower in July in 7 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 40 states and the District of Columbia, according to the BLS data. Twenty-three states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 5 states and the District had increases, and 22 states had little change. The national unemployment rate of 3.5% was unchanged from July 2022.

New Hampshire had the lowest jobless rate in July at 1.7%. The next lowest rates were in Maryland and Vermont at 1.8% each. The rates in these three states set new series lows, as did the rates in the following eight states (all state series begin in 1976): Alabama (2.1%), Louisiana (3.4%), Massachusetts (2.5%), Mississippi (3%), Ohio (3.3%), Pennsylvania (3.5%), Tennessee (3.1%), and Washington (3.6%). Nevada had the highest rate at 5.3%. In total, 21 states had jobless rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.5%, 3 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 26 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
July 2023: 273,400
June 2023: 273,800
July 2022: 271,300
February marked an employment record for the sector with 276,500 jobs.

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

Education and Health Services
July 2023: 208,800
June 2023: 209,000
July 2022: 199,300
June marked a new employment record for the sector.

July 2023: 165,200
June 2023: 165,300
July 2022: 163,400
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in February 1995.

Professional and Business Services
July 2023: 151,500
June 2023: 150,600
July 2022: 155,000
September 2022 marked an employment record for the sector with 156,300 jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality
July 2023: 131,900
June 2023: 131,500
July 2022: 122,100
July marked a new employment record for the sector.

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

July 2023: 63,500
June 2023: 63,700
July 2022: 57,700
June marked a new employment record for the sector.