No change for Arkansas unemployment rate in February, remains at 3.5 percent

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Friday’s release of Arkansas unemployment numbers for February shows the rate unchanged from the month before.

Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent, according to labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services. The report states that Arkansas’ civilian labor force added 970, a result of 1,239 more employed and 269 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.6 percent in January to 3.5 percent in February.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate has remained stable at 3.5 percent since October 2019. While the number of unemployed has declined for the last six consecutive months, the movement was not enough to impact the unemployment rate overall,” said BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 100 in February to total 1,269,800. Three major industry sectors added jobs, more than offsetting declines in five sectors. Job totals in three major sectors were unchanged. Professional and business services posted the largest increase, up 3,100. Most of the expansion was in administrative and support services (+2,500), a subsector which includes employment agencies. Government added 2,000 jobs. Gains were mostly in state government, educational services (+2,100), attributed to the re-opening of public colleges and universities after holiday break. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities decreased 3,000. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities posted a majority of the reduction (-2,500), with reported losses in delivery services and trucking.

Compared to February 2019, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are down 3,300. Six major industry sectors posted declines, while employment in five sectors increased. The largest decrease occurred in manufacturing (-3,800). Durable goods reported most of the loss (-3,300), due to reductions in fabricated metal product manufacturing and the production of transportation equipment. Jobs in leisure and hospitality are down 2,600, mostly in food services (-2,500). Government employment declined 1,700. A majority of the loss occurred in local government (-2,100), all in the educational services subsector (-2,400). Employment in financial activities decreased 1,000, all in finance and insurance (-1,100). Educational and health services added 3,700 jobs. Increases were largely in health care and social assistance (+3,500), with ambulatory health care accounting for most of the gains (+2,900).

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