Arkansas Unemployment Falls to Record Low 3.6 Percent

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Apr. 21, 2017 10:36 am  

Arkansas' unemployment record fell to another record low, dropping to 3.6 percent in March from 3.7 percent in February.

The state Department of Workforce services said Arkansas' civilian labor force gained 3,188 workers, with 4,428 more employed and 1,240 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

"The unemployment rate decline to 3.6 percent marks a new record low for Arkansas, breaking last month’s previous record low of 3.7 percent," Susan Price, the department's BLS program operations manager, said in a news release. "Arkansas' jobless rate has fallen each month since December, after remaining fairly stable throughout most of 2016."

The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March, down from 5 percent in March 2016.

Arkansas' unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in March 2016.

The state was among four that posted record low unemployment rates in March. Colorado, Maine and Oregon also reported their lowest rates. At 2.6 percent, Colorado had the country’s lowest.

In all, the Labor Department said unemployment rates fell in 17 states in March and were mostly unchanged in 33. Employers added a significant number of jobs in just three states last month and cut them in four. 

Employment was mostly unchanged in the other 43 states. Hiring nationwide was weak in March but strong in the previous two months.

In Arkansas, growth was posted in seven major industry sectors, as four sectors declined. Among them:

  • Employment in educational and health services rose by 7,000, mostly in health care and social assistance (4,900). 
  • Professional and business services added 5,800 jobs.
  • Jobs in manufacturing rose by 2,600, with hiring in nondurable goods (3,700) more than offsetting losses in durable goods (1,100). 
  • Small increases occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (1,600), leisure and hospitality (1,500) and other services (1,300). 
  • Jobs in government fell by 2,100, with decreases in local (1,600) and state (500) government.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)



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