Arkansas Jobless Rate Falls to 7 Percent

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 10:04 am  

Arkansas' unemployment rate fell to 7 percent in November, the state Department of Workforce Services announced Friday.

The state rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point from October's 7.2 percent rate. The national rate for November fell two-tenths as well, to 7.7 percent from 7.9.

DWS communications director Kimberly Friedman attributed the drop to a decline in the size of the state's civilian labor force.

"Decreases in the number of employed and unemployed cause a decline in the size of the civilian labor force, which led to a drop in the rate this month," she said in a press release. "Arkansas' unemployment rate has trended downward so far this year, ranging from a high of 7.6 percent in January and February to a low of 7.0 percent in November."

Industry sectors that lost jobs in the state in November include leisure and hospitality, which lost an expected seasonal decline of 2,300 jobs; professional and business services, which also saw a drop of 2,300 jobs, and construction, which lost an expected 1,500.

Gains were seen in trade, transportation and utilities with an increase of 4,900 jobs, most attributed to the start of the holiday shopping season.

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