Job rate

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services has recorded a 3.5 percent jobless rate in the state during October.

Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable at 3.5 percent between September and October, according to a report released this week by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

Labor force data is produced by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by the ADWS.

According to the report, Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 1,626, a result of an additional 937 employed and 689 more unemployed Arkansans. The U.S. jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.5 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent in October, as gains in employment and unemployment were small. Despite recent fluctuations in employment, there are currently 12,736 more employed Arkansans compared to October 2018.”

Non-farm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 5,800 in October to total 1,291,700. Gains were posted in eight major industry sectors, while three sectors slightly declined.

Manufacturing added 2,100 jobs. Expansions occurred in both non-durable (+1,100) and durable (+1,000) goods manufacturing, due to seasonal hiring at food manufacturing facilities and recalled workers.

Employment in professional and business services rose 1,800. Most of the gains were in professional-scientific-technical services (+1,000), related in part to hiring for the upcoming tax season.

Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 1,400. Hiring was reported in all three subsectors, due to preparation for the holiday shopping season.

Since October 2018, Arkansas’ non-farm payroll jobs are up 18,500. Eight major industry sectors posted growth, with five adding 2,000 or more jobs, each.

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased 4,600. A majority of the gains occurred in food services (+4,300). Jobs in construction rose 3,800, related to continuing projects.

Manufacturing added 3,700 jobs, largely in non-durable goods manufacturing (+2,500). Jobs in financial activities are up 2,000. Most of the growth was reported in finance and insurance (+1,700). Educational and health services increased 2,000, related to expansions in health care and social assistance (+1,900).

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