Arkansas’s unemployment rate fell for the second month in a row after surging in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to numbers from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 1.6% in June for a total of 8% unemployment.
This marks the second month of falling unemployment as some Arkansans return to work, though coronavirus cases in the state continue to increase.
The U.S. jobless rate also decreased by over two percentage points to 11.1%, though that number is still higher than Arkansas’s rate.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Program operations manager Susan Price said in the news release that "Despite moving into Phase 2 of reopening in June, there was a notable increase in the number of survey respondents in Arkansas reporting that they were not employed or had dropped out of the labor force."
Arkansas’s nonfarm payroll jobs rose by 18,500 in June. Employment in six industries rose, while it declined in four.
Leisure and hospitality again saw the most gains, with 9,900 new jobs, with food services being the biggest gain in that sector.
Trade, transportation and utilities added the second highest number of new employment, with 7,600 jobs. 89% of those jobs are in retail.
Employment in the government sector saw the biggest loss, with 3,100 fewer jobs. The majority of losses in that sector were in state government and educational services.
Though employment is increasing compared to just months ago, compared to June of 2019, there are 61,500 fewer jobs in Arkansas.