Arkansas February Unemployment Holds at 7.2 Percent

by Lance Turner  on Friday, Mar. 29, 2013 9:37 am  

Arkansas' February unemployment held at 7.2 percent, unchanged from the previously month, according to a report Friday by the state Department of Workforce Services.

The report said Arkansas' civilian labor force declined by 7,000, a result of 6,400 fewer employed and 600 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

The U.S. jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February.

(More: Download the complete report in PDF format.)

"While Arkansas' unemployment rate remained steady this month, the rate is still one-tenth of a percentage point lower than it was in February 2012," DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said in a news release. "The rate is significantly lower than in February 2011, when the rate was 8 percent.” 

Since February 2012, Arkansas' employment picture changed like this:

  • Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment increased by 4,000.
  • Five major industry sectors posted growth, offsetting declines in six sectors.
  • The trade, transportation, and utilities sector reported the greatest increase, 8,900 jobs. More of the new jobs were inretail trade, which added 5,700 jobs.
  • Educational and health services added 2,600 jobs, mostly in health care and social assistance, which contributed 2,100 jobs.
  • Construction posted the largest decline, down 2,900 jobs, "attributed in part to the completion of recent highway projects."
  • Employment in other services decreased by 1,900 jobs.



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