Arkansas Unemployment Rate Surpasses 10 Percent

May 22, 2020

While the coronavirus pandemic is a major reason behind the job losses, the division says a lack of typical spring hiring at businesses that were unable to open or expand as scheduled also played a role.

One in 10 Arkansans are currently unemployed as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the state’s economy. 

According to the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, Arkansas’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 5% in March to 10.2% in April.

That’s a loss in Arkansas of 97,800 nonfarm, payroll jobs, compared to March’s numbers released just one month ago. While the coronavirus pandemic is a major reason behind the job losses, the division says a lack of typical spring hiring at businesses that were unable to open or expand as scheduled also played a role.

Employment dropped in all 11 of the state’s major industry sectors, with leisure and hospitality taking the hardest hit at 33,600 fewer jobs. Over 95% of jobs lost in that sector were in food services.

The education and health services sector lost 20,300 jobs, with employment in health care and social assistance making the majority of that loss with 18,300 jobs.

Arkansas’s over 10% unemployment rate is below the national unemployment rate for April, which sits at 14.7%.