Arkansas' Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.5% in February

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services said Friday that Arkansas' unemployment rate decreased one‐tenth of a percentage point, from 4.6% in January to 4.5% in February.

The decline came as the civilian labor force declined by 12,775, a result of 10,820 fewer employed and 1,955 fewer unemployed Arkansans. 

The U.S. jobless rate also decreased one‐tenth of a percentage point, down to 6.2% in February. 

"The unemployment rate in Arkansas decreased one‐tenth of a percentage point in February, due to a decline in the size of the civilian labor force," BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a news release. "While still up compared to February 2020, Arkansas' jobless rate is one and seven‐tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate."

Compared to February 2020, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are down by 41,500. Declines occurred in 10 major industry sectors. 

  • Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 15,400 — most of it in food services (11,500). 
  • Jobs in government decreased by 8,500, with local government posting the largest decline (6,100).
  • Educational and health services lost 7,600 jobs mostly in health care and social assistance (7,000).
  • Jobs in manufacturing are down by 4,400, largely in nondurable goods manufacturing (4,100). 
  • Professional and business services job were down by 3,000, information job were down by 1,200 and financial activities were down by 1,000. 
  • Jobs in construction rose by 600.