Arkansas unemployment rate drops in February


People at a workforce center, 2021 (Nexstar)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The latest figures from the state show more Arkansans are back to work as more businesses reopen with pandemic restrictions easing.

According to the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, the unemployment rate in the state is down a tenth of a percentage point, from 4.6 percent in January to 4.5 percent in February.

The Arkansas civilian labor force declined by 12,775, which is a result of 10,820 fewer employed and 1,955 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

The U.S. jobless rate also decreased one‐tenth of a percentage point, down to 6.2 percent in February.

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs though rose by 500 in February to a total of 1,256,100.

Jobs in four major sectors added jobs.

• Government jobs (+2,100)

• Professional and business (+2,000)

• Educational and health services (+900)

• Other services (+900).

There was a decline in construction (-1,200) due to winter weather events in February, also in leisure and hospitality (-1,400) and food services (-2,100).

Compared to February 2020 numbers payroll jobs have declined by 41,500.

Ten major industry sectors also saw a decline.

• Leisure and hospitality (-15,400)

• Food services (11,500)

• Government (-8,500)

• Local government (-6,100)

• Educational and health services (-7,600)

• Health care and social assistance (-7,000)

• Manufacturing (- 4,100)

• Professional and business services (-3,000)

• Information (-1,200)

• Financial activities (-1,000)

Within that decline jobs in construction rose by 600, related to large scale projects across the state.

The labor force data was produced by the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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