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Local & Regional News

Arkansas year-over-year job numbers up 2.7%; jobless rate ticks up to 3.2% in April

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Arkansas' unemployment rate improved in the month of April.

The number of Arkansans with jobs increased by more than 4,500 in April compared with March, but the state’s jobless rate rose from 3.1% to 3.2%. The state added more than 34,000 jobs year-over-year, and the jobless rate was well below the 4.5% in April 2021.

The number of employed in Arkansas during April was an estimated 1,306,972, up 34,139 jobs, or 2.7%, compared with April 2021, and above the 1,272,833 in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report posted Friday (May 20). The April numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, in April was 1,349,561 in April, above the 1,333,117 in April 2021, and above the 1,343,906 in March. The state’s labor force participation rate was 56.8% in April, above the 56.7% in April 2021.

“Employment in Arkansas increased for the fourth month in a row while nonfarm payroll jobs rose to 1,315,500, setting a record high number of jobs in the State. More Arkansans continue to join the labor force, resulting in an increase in the unemployment rate,” Arkansas’ BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a statement.

Arkansans without jobs in April totaled 42,589, above the 41,456 in March, but 29.4% below the 60,284 in April 2021. The biggest year-over-year sector gains were in Trade, Transportation & Utilities (14,600 more jobs), and Leisure & Hospitality (up 9,600 jobs).

NATIONAL NUMBERS
Unemployment rates were lower in April in 13 states and stable in 37 states. All 50 states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, according to the BLS report.

Nebraska and Utah had the lowest jobless rates in April at 1.9% each. The rates in these two states set new series lows, as did the rates in the following eight states (all state series begin in 1976): Alabama (2.8%), Arizona (3.2%), Idaho (2.6%), Kentucky (3.9%), Minnesota (2.2%), Mississippi (4.1%), South Dakota (2.3%), and West Virginia (3.6%). The District of Columbia had the highest unemployment rate at 5.8%, followed by New Mexico at 5.3%. In total, 18 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6%, 10 states had higher rates, and 22 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

JOB SECTOR NUMBERS
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
April 2022: 267,900
March 2022: 267,700
April 2021: 253,300
The April 2022 level marked a new record for the sector.

Government
April 2022: 208,800
March 2022: 208,700
April 2021: 206,600
Sector employment hit a peak of 224,100 in May 2010.

Education and Health Services
April 2022: 197,400
March 2022: 195,000
April 2021: 195,100
The April 2022 level marked a new record for the sector.

Manufacturing
April 2022: 162,800
March 2022: 162,800
April 2021: 156,500
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest jobs sector, posted record employment of 247,600 in July 1995.

Professional and Business Services
April 2022: 147,400
March 2022: 148,900
April 2021: 144,200
Sector employment set a record of 152,600 in January 2022.

Leisure and Hospitality
April 2022: 122,500
March 2022: 121,500
April 2021: 112,900
The sector first reached an employment record of 124,400 in March 2020.

Financial Activities
April 2022: 66,900
March 2022: 66,200
April 2021: 65,900
The April 2022 level marked a new record for the sector.

Construction
April 2022: 53,700
March 2022: 55,200
April 2021: 55,100
The sector reached record employment of 57,700 in April 2006.