Arkansas Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.2 Percent But Labor Force Smaller

Arkansas' unemployment rate fell for the ninth consecutive month in June to 6.2 percent.

It marks the fourth consecutive month that the state's unemployment rate has been below 7 percent. Before March, the last time the state's unemployment rate was below 7 percent was January 2009. It's the lowest unemployment rate since November 2008 when it was 6.1 percent.

June's unemployment rate is 1.4 percent lower than a year ago when the rate was 7.6 percent, and 0.2 percent lower than May's rate. It was just above the national unemployment rate in June, 6.1 percent.

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The number of unemployed workers in the state also continued to drop, for the tenth consecutive month, to 81,600 in June. The pool of workers is down 19,200 from the same time a year ago, and is down 2,600 from May.

While the state's unemployment rate and jobless workers continues to decrease, so does its labor force and employed workers.

June's labor force shrunk by 9,300 from May, and is down 19,400 from a year ago. It continues to be at its lowest total in more than five years. The labor force has fallen for three consecutive months.

The state's number of employed workers in June was down 6,700 from in May, and down 200 from this time last year. Like the labor force, the state's number of employed workers and decreased for three consecutive months.

Since June 2013, the state's nonfarm payroll has increased by 17,800. Nine major industries have posted growth and two have seen decreases. Nonfarm payroll jobs are down 5,600 from May. Five sectors saw growth in June from the previous month, one was unchanged and three saw declines. 

Here is a breakdown by sectors:

•Educational and health services added 3,500 jobs from June 2013. Most of the gains were made in health care and social assistance, 2,200 jobs. The sector was down 2,600 jobs from May.

•Leisure and hospitality ticked up 3,500 jobs from a year ago, as well. The majority of those were seen in food services, 2,900.The sector was up 1,100 jobs from May.

•Manufacturing added, 3,400 jobs from June 2013, mostly in durable goods, 2,400 jobs. The sector was up 1,900 jobs from May.

•Trade, transportation and utilities increased 3,000 jobs from the same time a year ago. Retail saw 2,000 more jobs, and wholesale saw 1,400 more jobs. The entire sector was down 1,000 jobs from May.

•Mining and logging added 200 jobs from this time last year. It's also up 200 jobs from May.

•Information is down 400 jobs from a year ago, but up 100 jobs from May.

•Financial activities is up 800 jobs from a year ago and from May. Finance and insurance is up 600 jobs from a year ago and 500 from May, while real estate is up 200 from a year ago and 300 from May.

•Government jobs were down 300 jobs from a year ago and 5,900 from May. State government jobs were down 4,300 jobs from May and up 600 from a year ago. Local government jobs were down 1,700 from May and down 400 from a year ago.

•Other services were unchanged from May and up 200 jobs from a year ago.

Across the Country

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said regional and state unemployment rates were "generally little changed," however, 22 states and the District of Columbia posted lower unemployment rates in June, compared to the previous month. Another 14 states saw no change, and 14 states saw an increase in unemployment rates.

From this time a year ago, 49 states and D.C. have lower unemployment rates. The national unemployment rate is down 1.4 percent from June 2013.

Mississippi and Rhode Island had the highest unemployment rates among states, both at 7.9 percent. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 2.7 percent.