Arkansas job openings dip 10% in April, layoffs up 16.6%

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 252 views 

Arkansas job openings fell 10% in April, better than the 19% decline nationwide, but the employment metric has declined in the first four months of 2024, according to Tuesday’s (June 18) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job openings – not seasonally adjusted – in the state were an estimated 91,000 in April, 10% below the 101,000 in April 2023. U.S. job openings were 8.595 million, down 19% compared with 10.607 million in March 2023. The BLS April report is preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas new hires were an estimated 58,000 in April, unchanged compared to March 2023. U.S. job openings fell 5.4% in March. Arkansas layoffs and discharges were an estimated 14,000 in April, up 16.6% from the 12,000 in March 2023. The U.S. figure was down 9.7%.

The state has begun 2024 with four consecutive declines in job openings and new hires. In January, Arkansas job openings fell 30% and new hire numbers were down 14.2%. Arkansas job openings in February fell more than 20%, well above the national decline of 11.1%, and the state’s new hire tally declined 7.8%, March job openings in the state were down 17.5%, and new hires were down 3.5%.

There were more than 6,500 net new jobs year-over-year in Arkansas in April, but the number of unemployed increased by more than 20%. As a result, the state’s jobless rate in April was 3.4%, better than 3.5% in March but above 2.8% in April 2023. The number of employed in Arkansas during April was an estimated 1,340,867, up 6,594 jobs, or 0.5%, compared with April 2023, and above the 1,337,310 in March.

The number of job openings decreased in 13 states, increased in 4 states, and was little changed in 33 states in April compared with the previous month. The largest decreases in the job openings level occurred in California (-81,000), New York (-71,000), and Illinois (-65,000). The largest increases occurred in Virginia (+46,000), Arizona (+36,000), and Tennessee (+18,000). Nationally, the number of job openings changed little.

The number of hires increased in 5 states, decreased in 2 states, and was little changed in 43 states in April. The largest increases in the hires level occurred in North Carolina (+30,000), Louisiana (+15,000), and Oklahoma (+13,000). The decreases occurred in New Jersey (-36,000) and Massachusetts (-23,000). Nationally, the number of hires changed little over the month.

The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in 12 states, increased in 3 states, and was little changed in 35 states in April. The largest decreases in the layoffs and discharges level occurred in Florida (-27,000) and in Michigan and New York (-24,000 each). The increases occurred in California (+39,000), Connecticut (+10,000), and Maine (+3,000). Nationally, the number of layoffs and discharges was little changed.