June Unemployment Picture Brightens for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, AR – The latest figures for the Arkansas unemployment rate show it is down slightly.

In a news release issued Tuesday, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS) said the rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point, from 5.8 percent in May (revised up from 5.7 percent) to 5.7 percent in June.

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released today by the ADWS shows Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 200, a result of 1,400 more employed and 1,200 fewer unemployed Arkansans.  

The United States’ jobless rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point, from 5.5 percent in May to 5.3 percent in June.

“The number of employed rose slightly in June, helping to bring down the unemployment rate. Compared to June 2014, there are 45,300 more employed Arkansans,” said ADWS Program Operations Manager Susan Price.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas declined 3,100 in June to total 1,214,900. Three major industry sectors posted job losses, more than offsetting gains in six sectors. Employment in government dropped 5,700. All declines were in state (-4,200) and local (-1,600) government, due to summer break at public educational facilities. Educational and health services lost 1,400 jobs. Seasonal decreases in educational services (-2,000) were partially offset by minor growth in health care and social assistance (+600). Employment in construction rose 2,200.  Most of the additions were in specialty trade contractors. 

Compared to June 2014, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment has increased 23,400. Growth occurred in eight major industry sectors, while three posted minor declines. Jobs in educational and health services rose 5,900. A majority of the expansion was in health care and social assistance (+5,200). Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 4,700. All three subsectors added jobs. Employment in leisure and hospitality increased 4,400, mostly in food services (+4,200). Construction rose 3,900. A majority of the growth occurred in specialty trade contractors (+2,800). Professional and business services gained 3,400 jobs. The largest addition was in administrative and support services (+1,900), which includes employment agencies. Jobs in financial activities increased 1,300. Most of the growth was in finance and insurance (+1,200), with reported hiring in both insurance carriers and credit intermediation.

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