Arkansas Unemployment Unchanged in Dec. 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - New figures released by a state agency on Tuesday show no change in Arkansas unemployment from November to December.

The labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was stable at 3.7 percent between November and December. 

Arkansas’ civilian labor force decreased 10,088, a result of 10,167 fewer employed and 79 more unemployed Arkansans. At 4.1 percent, the United States’ jobless rate was also unchanged over the month.

“Arkansas’ jobless rate remained stable in December, mirroring the trend seen at the national level. While the size of the civilian labor force declined, it was not enough to impact the unemployment rate,” said BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price in the news release.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment decreased 7,300 in December to total 1,256,700. Nine major industry sectors posted job declines, while two reported small gains. The greatest loss was in leisure and hospitality (-2,300). Most of the decrease occurred in food services (-1,900), due to a combination of seasonal factors and recent restaurant closures. Employment in professional and business services dropped 2,100. A majority of the loss was posted in administrative and support services (-2,000), an expected seasonal decline for the subsector. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities declined 1,200, largely affected by retail trade (-1,500). This was due in part to reported contractions at stores that do not typically see holiday hiring, such as convenience stores, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Construction is down 1,100, a typical seasonal drop.

Compared to December 2016, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are up 16,100. Seven major industries reported growth, with four adding 3,100 or more jobs, each. Employment in educational and health services rose 5,800. Gains were posted in both health care and social assistance (+3,100) and educational services (+2,700). Manufacturing increased 5,200, largely in nondurable goods manufacturing (+5,000). Professional and business services added 3,200 jobs. Expansions in administrative-support services (+2,900) and professional-scientific-technical services (+2,000) more than offset the losses in management of companies (-1,700). Jobs in construction rose 3,100, with specialty trade construction up 1,800. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities declined 1,800. Most of the loss was posted in retail trade (-1,800). Jobs in government are down 1,100, mostly in local government (-1,000).

Click here for more Arkansas labor market information.

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