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February Unemployment in Arkansas Stays at 7.2-percent

The U.S. jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point, to 7.7-percent.
February unemployment in Arkansas has remained unchanged from January.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Arkansas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable at 7.2-percent in February.

The United States' jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.9-percent in January to 7.7-percent in February.

"While Arkansas' unemployment remained steady this month, the rate is still one-tenth of a percentage point lower than it was in February 2012. The rate is significantly lower than in February 2011, when the rate was 8.0-percent," said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 7,600 to total 1,170,800. Seven major industry sectors posted gains, while three declined. One major industry remained the same. Government added 5,200 jobs. Most of the increase occurred in state government (+4,600), as public school employment returned to normal levels after the winter break. Jobs in professional and business services rose 2,100. A majority of expansions were posted in administrative and support services (+1,500), related to reported gains in employment services and business support services. Leisure and hospitality added 1,100 jobs, a typical seasonal increase. Employment in other services dropped 1,600.

Arkansas' nonfarm payroll employment increased 4,000 since February 2012. Five major industry sectors posted growth, more than offsetting declines in six sectors. Trade, transportation, and utilities enjoyed the greatest increase (+8,900). A majority of the expansion was reported in retail trade (+5,700). Educational and health services added 2,600 jobs, mostly in health care and social assistance (+2,100). Construction posted the largest decline (-2,900), attributed in part to the completion of recent highway projects. Employment in other services decreased 1,900. Losses were reported throughout the industry.
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