Arkansas Unemployment Falls to 4.5 Percent in July

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Aug. 15, 2008 9:40 am  

Arkansas' unemployment rate declined five-tenths of a percentage point in July to 4.5 percent, according to the state Department of Workforce Services.

The U.S. jobless rate for July was 5.7 percent.

Arkansas' jobless rate was 5 percent in June. In July 2007, was 5.5 percent. Kimberly Friedman, the department's communications director, said 20,900 more Arkansans have jobs this month compared to July 2007.

The report said Arkansas added 7,400 nonfarm payroll jobs since July 2007. Eight major industry sectors grained jobs, three of which showed gains of at least 3,400 jobs. Three industries posted losses.

Government posted the largest increase, adding 4,100 jobs from last year. More than half took place in local government, as educational facilities expanded around the state, the report said.

Educational and health services added 3,400 jobs.

Professional and business services added 3,400 jobs. Administrative and support services accounted for 65 percent of the sector's growth, the report said. 

Leisure and hospitality added 1,800 jobs, due to the "continued increase in the number of food service establishments," according to the report.

Meanwhile, employment in manufacturing dropped by 6,400 from last year, as companies continued layoffs and closures. 



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