Arkansas unemployment rate holding steady at 3.5 percent

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The unemployment rate in Arkansas is holding steady.

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released today by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable at 3.5 percent between September and October. Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 1,626, a result of an additional 937 employed and 689 more unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.5 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent in October, as gains in employment and unemployment were small. Despite recent fluctuations in employment, there are currently 12,736 more employed Arkansans compared to October 2018.”

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 5,800 in October to total 1,291,700. Gains were posted in eight major industry sectors, while three sectors slightly declined. Manufacturing added 2,100 jobs. Expansions occurred in both nondurable (+1,100) and durable (+1,000) goods manufacturing, due to seasonal hiring at food manufacturing facilities and recalled workers. Employment in professional and business services rose 1,800. Most of the gains were in professional-scientific-technical services (+1,000), related in part to hiring for the upcoming tax season. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 1,400. Hiring was reported in all three subsectors, due to preparation for the holiday shopping season.

Since October 2018, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are up 18,500. Eight major industry sectors posted growth, with five adding 2,000 or more jobs, each. Employment in leisure and hospitality increased 4,600. A majority of the gains occurred in food services (+4,300). Jobs in construction rose 3,800, related to continuing projects. Manufacturing added 3,700 jobs, largely in nondurable goods manufacturing (+2,500). Jobs in financial activities are up 2,000. Most of the growth was reported in finance and insurance (+1,700). Educational and health services increased 2,000, related to expansions in health care and social assistance (+1,900).

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