Arkansas Unemployment Drops to Record 3.1% in December

Arkansas' unemployment rate decreased three-tenths of a percentage point from November to 3.1% in December, according to a report released Tuesday by the state Division of Workforce Services.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said it's the lowest recorded unemployment rate in state history.

The report showed Arkansas' civilian labor force dropped by 1,098, the result of 3,750 fewer unemployed and 2,652 more employed Arkansans. The U.S. jobless rate was 3.9% in December, down three-tenths of a percentage point from November.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price in a news release said December’s rate is a new record low for the state. She also said, while employment increased for a second month, there are slightly fewer employed Arkansans compared to December 2020.

In addition, compared to December 2020, Arkansas' nonfarm payroll jobs are up by 27,300. Eight major industry sectors reported growth:

  • Professional and business services jobs increased by 9,600, mostly in administrative and support  services (7,400).
  • Trade, transportation and utilities added 5,200 jobs, mostly in wholesale trade (2,500) and transportation-warehousing-utilities (2,300).
  • Manufacturing jobs increased by 4,900; all the gains were in durable goods (7,100).
  • Leisure and hospitality added 4,400 jobs.
  • Financial activities added 4,300 jobs, mostly in finance and insurance (3,900).
  • Construction lost 2,300 jobs.
  • Government jobs decreased by 1,900.
  • Other services added 1,800 jobs.
  • Information jobs increased by 1,100.
  • Mining and logging added 400 jobs.
  • Educational and health services lost 200 jobs.