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Arkansas Unemployment Drops To 7.1%

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Arkansas’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July dropped one percent from June, to a total of 7.1% according to data released from the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to report released today from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, the unemployment rate decreased from 8.1% to 7.1%. The unemployment rate for Arkansas is just over three percentage points lower than the national unemployment rate that sits at 10.2%

Meanwhile, the total number of nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by 11,500 for the month of July. Jobs in five major industries declined, which offset the gains earned in other sectors.

Jobs in government saw a decrease of 13,100, with the report citing the closing of schools due to summer break as the main reason. Manufacturing also decreased by 1,000, and minor losses were also recorded in the construction, trade-transportation utilities and information sectors.

The "professional and businesses services" sector, such as jobs in management and administration, saw the biggest increase with 1,200.

Jobs in leisure and hospitality also increased by 800, with the food service making a gain of 900, while arts, entertainment and recreation dropped by 100.

While estimates from the Civilian Labor Force are seasonally adjusted, the Nonfarm Payroll Summary is not, meaning that while the two data sets often move in the same direction, they are not directly compatible. Because the Nonfarm Payroll Summary did not account for the summer break, when many colleges and schools have reduced staff, the summary counted that hiatus as job losses.

The number of non-farm payroll jobs in July 2020 is 54,600 fewer than the number of jobs in July of 2019.

Employment in eight major industry sectors remain lower compared to the year before. The manufacturing and leisure and hospitality industries have seen the biggest decline, losing 18,100 and 17,600 jobs respectively.  

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