Arkansas Jobless Rate Falls to 7.1 Percent

Arkansas Jobless Rate Falls to 7.1 Percent

The unemployment rate in Arkansas dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.1 percent in September, according to data released Friday.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said the drop is due to a declining civilian labor force that saw 2,700 fewer people. The national jobless rate for September fell as well, to 7.8 percent from 8.1. In September 2011, the Arkansas jobless rate was 8.1 percent and the national rate 9.0 percent.

"The number of both employed and unemployed Arkansans declined this month, resulting in a decrease in the size of the civilian labor force," said DWS spokesperson Kimberly Friedman in a news release. "This combination of losses triggered the drop in Arkansas' unemployment rate. This decline in rate mirrors the trend seen at the national level."

The biggest state gains were seen in government (14,200 new jobs) and educational and health services (700). DWS attributes most of the new education jobs to private schools.

The biggest decline in jobs was seen in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (1,100 jobs lost), with retail posting the majority of that loss.

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