Arkansas Jobless Rate Declines To 5.7% As State Labor Pool Grows

Jul 21, 2015


Arkansas’ unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point in June as the state’s civilian labor pool grew by 200 workers, according to U.S. labor force data released Tuesday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June now stands at 5.7% compared to a revised 5.8% in May. Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 200, a result of 1,400 more employed and 1,200 fewer unemployed Arkansans, DWS officials said the monthly data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“The number of employed rose slightly in June, helping to bring down the unemployment rate,” said DWS Operations Manager Susan Price. “Compared to June 2014, there are 45,300 more employed Arkansans,”

Overall, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas declined 3,100 in June to total 1,214,900. Three major industry sectors posted job losses, more than offsetting gains in six sectors. Employment in government dropped 5,700, largely due to summer break at public educational facilities. Educational and health services lost 1,400 jobs, while seasonal decreases in educational services were partially offset by minor growth in health care and social assistance (+600). Employment in construction rose by 2,200. Most of the additions were in specialty trade contractors.

However, compared to June 2014, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment has increased 23,400. Growth occurred in eight major industry sectors, while three posted minor declines. Jobs in educational and health services saw the biggest gains with an addition of 5,900 workers. Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 4,700, leisure and hospitality increased by 4,400, and construction rose 3,900.

Professional and business services gained 3,400 jobs with the largest addition in administrative and support services. Jobs in financial activities increased 1,300.

Meanwhile, the government sector lost 400 jobs and the downturn in the mining industry continued to as 300 workers were let go. An additional 200 jobs declined in “other services.”

Nationally, the U.S. jobless rate fell to its lowest level since 2008, declining two-tenths of a percentage to 5.3% as the nation’s economy added 223,000 jobs in June. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from May, 12 states had increases, and 17 states had no change, BLS statistics show.