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Arkansas reports another record low unemployment rate

2020-unemployment.jpg
Jacqueline Froelich
/
KUAF News
People lined up to apply for unemployment assistance in 2020 at an Arkansas Division of Workforce Services office in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services said Friday that unemployment in February fell across the state, reaching another record low of 3.1%. The report was prepared in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The decrease amounts to one-tenth of a percentage point decline, from 3.2% in January to 3.1% last month. The downward trend means 459 fewer Arkansans are experiencing unemployment statewide.

Arkansas’ civilian labor force grew by 4,569, with 5,028 people joining the workforce in February, the report said.

On Twitter, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted unemployment reached a record low, and said the growing workforce “is critical to meet the needs of our growing economy.”

The report measured nine employment sectors and found each made gains in employment. Arkansas trade, transportation, and utilities added the most new jobs at 15,300. Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 10,900, with the most job gains made in food services. Transportation and warehousing added 7,200 jobs and business services increased 6,500. Educational and health services increased 1,800, and manufacturing added 1,000 jobs.

State unemployment reflects similar trends in national unemployment data. Last month, the national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, which was two tenths of a percent decrease from 4 percent in January. In February of 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

Josie Lenora is a news anchor and reporter for UA Little Rock Public Radio. She grew up listening to KUAR and NPR News and says she is thrilled to give back to an organization she loves. Josie first interned in the fall of 2021 assisting in production for KUAR and KLRE, then in spring of 2022 spent a semester interning as a new anchor before joining the staff.