Arkansas unemployment rate remains stable at 3.5 percent

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A report released on Monday shows unemployment in Arkansas for January remained stable at 3.5 percent.

The Arkansas Civilian Labor Force Summary includes labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The report released by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services reveals the December 2019 rate was revised down from 3.6 percent to 3.5 percent. Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 2,035, a result of 2,155 more employed and 120 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.5 percent in December 2019 to 3.6 percent in January 2020.

“The revision of statewide Civilian Labor Force calculations shows that Arkansas’ unemployment rates in 2019 were, for the most part, lower than originally estimated. Updated data indicates that the jobless rate stayed between 3.5 percent and 3.6 percent last year, with the January rate unchanged from December 2019,” said BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs decreased 17,100 in January to total 1,269,700. Ten major industry sectors posted declines, with most of the losses related to seasonal hiring patterns. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities dropped 5,400. Most of the contractions were in retail trade (-5,200), due to the end of temporary hiring for the holidays. Professional and business services declined 4,500, largely in administrative and support services (-4,500). Employment in government decreased 3,000. All the loss was in state (-1,900) and local (-1,200) government, due to the closure of public schools and universities for winter break. Other notable reductions were posted in manufacturing (-2,100) and leisure and hospitality (-1,300).

Compared to January 2019, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 4,400. Five major industry sectors added jobs, while five sectors declined. The largest increase occurred in educational and health services, up 4,100. A majority of the growth was in health care and social assistance (+4,000). Construction added 1,800 jobs, due in part to on-going projects. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 1,600. Expansions in transportation-warehousing-utilities (+2,700) and wholesale trade (+1,800) more than offset the losses in retail trade (-2,900). Manufacturing posted the largest decrease (-2,200). All losses were in durable goods manufacturing, with reported contractions in fabricated metal products and in transportation equipment manufacturing.

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