Jobless rate

The Arkansas jobless rate was 3.5 percent last month.

Arkansas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.6 percent in May to 3.5 percent in June, according to a report released Friday 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 increased 741, a result of 1,949 additional employed and 1,208 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The U.S. jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.6 percent in May to 3.7 percent in June.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate declined to 3.5 percent in June, setting a new record low. The addition of 1,949 employed Arkansans also set a new record, with employment reaching record high levels for the last five consecutive months.”

The ADWS report stated that non-farm payroll jobs in Arkansas decreased 5,100 in June to total 1,278,000. Declines were posted in five major industry sectors, more than offsetting gains in six sectors.

Employment in government dropped 6,200. Losses in state (-4,600) and local (-2,000) government were related to summer break at public schools and universities. Jobs in educational and health services decreased 2,600, attributed to seasonal closures in educational services (-2,100). Professional and business services declined 1,900.

Most of the loss was in administrative and support services (-2,000), a subsector which includes employment agencies. The largest increase occurred in leisure and hospitality (+3,300), an expected seasonal expansion.

The report stated that compared to June 2018, Arkansas’ non-farm payroll jobs rose 19,300. Employment in nine major industry sectors increased, with four adding 2,400 or more jobs, each.

Leisure and hospitality gained 5,500 jobs, all in accommodation and food services (+5,800). Jobs in manufacturing rose 3,800.

Expansions were posted in both durable (+2,300) and non-durable (+1,500) goods manufacturing.

Construction added 2,900 jobs, related in part to on-going large projects around the state.

Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 2,400. All gains were in retail (+2,000) and wholesale (+900) trade.

Notable additions were also posted in educational and health services (+1,900), professional and business services (+1,800), and financial activities (+1,000).

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