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April Unemployment Numbers in Arkansas See Decline

The state's jobless rate drops one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.1-percent.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - April unemployment numbers in Arkansas show more people had found jobs across the state than in the month before.

The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.1 percent.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) says labor force data produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose 900, a result of 1,700 more employed and 800 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

At 7.5-percent, the United States’ jobless rate also decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in April.

“Employment in Arkansas increased 1,700 in April, the first employment gain since April 2012. This increase, combined with the minor decline in unemployment, was enough to cause the rate to decrease to 7.1 percent,” said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 10,400 in April to total 1,192,900. Expansions occurred in eight major industry sectors, with minor losses in two sectors. One industry remained stable. Leisure and hospitality posted the greatest increase (+4,400). Gains were largely seasonal, occurring mostly in accommodation and food services (+3,100). Trade, transportation, and utilities added 2,900 jobs. A majority of the hiring was reported in retail trade (+3,100), an expected seasonal expansion.

Professional and business services increased 2,100. All additions occurred in administrative and support services, which includes activities such as landscaping services and travel agencies. Minor decreases occurred in both the information (-400) and mining-logging (-100) industries.

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment increased 9,200 since April 2012. Five major industry sectors posted growth, more than offsetting declines in six industries. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 11,600 jobs. A majority of the gain occurred in retail trade (+9,200). Employment in educational and health services rose 4,200.

Most of the sector’s growth was attributed to hiring in health care and social assistance (+3,300). Jobs in construction decreased over the year (-2,600), related to the completion of large projects. Employment in other services declined 1,500. The sector includes activities such as repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and membership associations. Mining and logging decreased 1,200. The decline was related to reported losses in support activities for mining.
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