Arkansas' March Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 7.2-percent

The U.S. jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.6-percent.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas' March unemployment rate is holding steady at 7.2-percent.

That number is unchanged from February.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) today released the labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also shows that Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined 7,600, a result of 7,600 fewer employed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point, from 7.7-percent in February to 7.6-percent in March.

DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said: “Arkansas’ unemployment rate remained at 7.2 percent for the second consecutive month. While the number of employed declined, the decrease was not enough to impact the unemployment rate.”

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs increased 10,800 in March to total 1,181,800. Ten major industry sectors enjoyed gains, with one sector posting a decline. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 3,300. A majority of the increase occurred in retail trade (+2,200), related in large part to seasonal hiring at building materials-garden supply stores and at general merchandise stores. Professional and business services added 2,900 jobs. Most of the gains were in administrative and support services (+2,500), which includes employment services and services to buildings-dwellings. Jobs in construction rose 1,400, a typical seasonal increase. Educational and health services added 1,200 jobs, mostly in health care and social assistance (+1,100). Jobs in manufacturing declined 900, with a majority of the loss occurring in nondurable goods manufacturing (-600).

Since March 2012, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 3,200. Four major industry sectors posted gains, more than offsetting declines in six sectors. One major sector remained the same. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 9,500. The growth mostly occurred in retail trade (+6,400) and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+2,800). Educational and health services added 3,500 jobs. Health care and social assistance reported a majority of the increase (+2,800), mostly in ambulatory health care (+1,600). Employment in construction declined 2,900, partially a result of large project completions. Leisure and hospitality decreased 2,000, with a majority of the loss reported in accommodation and food services (-1,900).
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