State Unemployment Rate Declines to 3.6%


State Unemployment Rate Declines to 3.6%

Arkansas' unemployment rate was 3.6% in December, unchanged from the same month last year but down one-tenth of a percentage point from November.

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services said Arkansas' civilian labor force rose by 263. In December, the U.S. jobless rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from November to 3.5%.

"Arkansas' unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent in December, as the number of employed in the State grew for the first time since July," BLS Programs Manager Susan Price said. "While the unemployment rate has slowly increased throughout the second half of 2022, there are still 15,873 more employed over the year and the labor force participation rate is up by three-tenths of a percentage point."

In a separate report, the U.S. Department of Labor said unemployment rates were higher in December in seven states, lower in five states and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

In all, 35 states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, four states had increases, and 11 states had little change. The national unemployment rate edged down to 3.5% over the month and was 0.4 percentage point lower than in December 2021.

Year over year, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are up by 19,300, with nine major industry sectors reporting annual growth — five of them adding 2,700 or more jobs each:

  • Manufacturing jobs rose by 5,000. 
  • Jobs in educational and health services increased by 5,000. Most of the hiring occurred in health care and social assistance. 
  • Leisure and hospitality added 4,100 jobs, largely in accommodation and food services. 
  • Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities rose by 3,900. 
  • Expansions in transportation-warehousing-utilities (2,900) and wholesale trade (2,800) more than offset losses in retail trade (1,800). 
  • Financial services increased by 2,700 jobs, with hiring in both subsectors. 
  • Jobs in professional and business services declined by 3,600 over the year. 
  • Losses in administrative and support services (9,100) were offset by gains in management of companies (5,800).