Arkansas' jobless rate continues slow decline to 3.8 percent

Posted March 14, 2017

"The number of unemployed Arkansans declined 2,098 in January, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.8 percent".

Unemployment rates for other states were 2.7 percent in New Hampshire, 3.1 percent in Vermont, 3.2 percent in MA, 4.7 percent in Rhode Island, and 4.5 percent in CT.

Shelby County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 5 percent, which Wilcox County has the highest jobless rate at 17.1 percent. The national average during the same month was 4.8 percent.

"I think more people are entering the workforce", he said. "Previously, we had a declining unemployment rate because people were dropping out of the labor force".

"When you have an increase in the labor force, and all of those people aren't able to find work, you will see up an uptick in the rate", Washington said in a statement. "The economy is doing better", he said.

The revised statistics replace estimates generated from monthly surveys of a small group of employers with data from unemployment insurance reports most employers are required to file quarterly.

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Compared to January 2016, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased by 11,800.

One private industry showing the most growth was services, which includes fix and maintenance; personal and laundry services; and religious, grantmaking, civic and professional organizations. Ten major industry sectors posted job losses, the majority of which experienced typical seasonal fluctuations.

Jobs in educational and health services increased by 6,500, mostly in health care and social assistance.

It's the first full employment report from the Labor Department under the Trump Administration. Employment in other services rose 1,900.

The largest decline was in government employment, which was down by 1,600.