Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined three-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.0 percent in September to 3.7 percent in October, according to a report released November 19 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 decreased 4,130, a result of 3,756 fewer employed and 374 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The U.S.'s jobless rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.8 percent in September to 4.6 percent in October.
BLS Program Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate has been slowly but steadily declining since the peak of the pandemic 18 months ago. The state’s jobless rate is now at 3.7 percent, slightly lower than pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in February 2020.”
According to the ADWS report, Arkansas’ non-farm payroll jobs increased 12,100 in October to total 1,286,900. Ten major industry sectors posted gains. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 3,500. Hiring occurred in all subsectors, with transportation-warehousing-utilities adding 2,100 jobs. Professional and business services increased 2,500.
Gains were split between administrative-support services (+1,400) and professional-scientific-technical services (+1,100). Leisure and hospitality added 1,400 jobs, all in food services (+1,600). Jobs in educational and health services rose 1,300. Most of the expansions occurred in social assistance (+1,100). Smaller increases were posted in manufacturing (+900), other services (+900), and government (+900).
Compared to October 2020, non-farm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 33,400. Growth was reported in nine major industry sectors, with six sectors each adding 3,400 or more jobs. Professional and business services posted the largest annual increase, up 8,200 jobs. Hiring occurred in all subsectors, but most of the expansion was in administrative and support services (+5,500). Jobs in leisure and hospitality rose 7,400, with hiring reported across all subsectors. Manufacturing added 7,000 jobs. Expansions in durable goods (+10,000) were offset by declines in non-durable goods (-3,000).
Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 5,100. Most of the hiring occurred in transportation-warehousing-utilities (+3,400). Notable growth was posted in other services (+3,600), financial activities (+3,400), and educational and health services (+2,100). Jobs in government declined 3,000, mostly in local government-educational services (-2,800).