Job numbers show Arkansas way ahead of national trend

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The State of Arkansas saw another positive gain in unemployment numbers.

Arkansas, a lot of the time is immune to the far ends of national trends, unemployment is one of those things as the state’s unemployment numbers dropped about a full percentage point to 7.1% for the month of July.

The most recent unemployment report for Arkansas signifies a positive thing in Arkansas.

“Arkansans are getting back to work,” said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston.

The tourism industry of Arkansas saw an almost 1% increase in employment as it slowly comes back to life. Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston credits those last-minute staycations before school starts.

“We are seeing areas of the state that maybe have a state bar or some recreational opportunities tick up a little bit,” said Preston.

Although it saw a slight increase in the Leisure Industry is still down from this time last year over 17%. A lot of that can be credited to the lack of conventions in the state, especially in Little Rock.

“They were at target for our busiest year they’ve ever had in terms of conventions and that all went away,” said Preston.

The government saw a downward trend of over 13% from June to July. Some people may not see that as a bad thing but a large majority of those jobs were in education services.

“Unfortunately in some of the areas and then our two-year schools we haven’t had a demand of people going into them and some of our colleges around the state,” said Preston.

The state has begun to clear out many of the fraudulent claims in the unemployment systems but there are still approximately 35,000 frozen accounts between traditional unemployment and then pandemic unemployment assistance. The agency has sent out letters for people to confirm their claims and that has expedited finding many of those false claims.

“We don’t hear anything on the times you can realize is, okay this is a fraudulent claim,” said Preston.

While unemployment is still high from what is was a year ago, Arkansas is well ahead of the over 10% national trend. Officials echoing a sentiment many Arkansans likely share.

“Just ask for the days we can get back to you know said normal whatever that might be in the future,” said Preston.

Officials say when the revenue reports come out they expect some positive news on that front as well and Secretary Preston tells us that July revenues will likely beat out what was originally projected.

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