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Arkansas Unemployment Drops to 4.2% in August

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Arkansas’ unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.2% from July to August, according to a report released Friday by the state Division of Workforce Services.

The report showed Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose by a net 1,651, the result of 3,412 more employed and 1,761 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The U.S. jobless rate was 5.2% in August, down two-tenths of a percentage point from July.

“At 4.2 percent, Arkansas’ unemployment rate declined for the second consecutive month. There are 3,412 more employed Arkansans than last month and 45,354 more employed compared to August 2020,” BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a news release.

Compared to August 2020, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are up by 32,300. Nine major industry sectors reported growth:

  • Professional and business services jobs increased by 12,500, mostly in administrative and support services (9,400). 

  • Leisure and hospitality added 9,000 jobs, with the most gains being in food services (6,200).

  • Manufacturing added 7,000 jobs. Hiring in durable goods (10,500) was offset by contractions in nondurable goods (3,500).

  • Educational and health services added 4,500 jobs.

  • Trade, transportation and utilities jobs increased by 2,700.

  • Financial activities added 2,200 jobs.

  • Other services added 1,700 jobs.

  • Information added 1,300 jobs.

  • Mining and logging added 100 jobs.

  • Government lost 7,300 jobs (2,900),mostly in local government-educational services (4,600).

  • Construction lost 1,400 jobs.

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