May Unemployment Rate in Arkansas Unchanged at 5.7 Percent

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Unemployment is holding steady in Arkansas.

Figures just in for the month of May show the state’s jobless rate at 5.7 percent, the same as in April.

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics was released today by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADSW).

The report shows that Arkansas’ civilian labor force added 1,500, a result of 900 more employed and 600 additional unemployed Arkansans. At 5.5 percent, the United States’ jobless rate increase one-tenth of a percentage point in May.

“Employment and unemployment both increased slightly in May, but the gains were not enough to change the unemployment rate. This month’s employment increase marks the eighteenth consecutive month of growth,” said ADWS Program Operations Manager Susan Price in a news release. 

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary
Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment gained 3,000 in May to total 1,218,300. Six major industry sectors added jobs, while three sectors declined. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest increase (+1,400). Most of the gains occurred in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+1,000), a typical seasonal expansion. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 1,000. Seasonal hiring in retail trade (+1,100) accounted for a majority of the increase. Employment in government declined 1,100. State government (-1,700) losses were related to the start of summer break at state colleges and universities, while local government (+900) added temporary summer employment.

Compared to May 2014, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are up 21,500. Seven major industry sectors posted growth, with four sectors adding 2,300 or more jobs, each. Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 6,100. Most of the expansion occurred in food services (+5,300). Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 5,400 jobs. Additions were posted across all sub-sectors. Jobs in educational and health services increased 3,700. All growth was reported in health care and social assistance (+3,800). Construction rose 2,300, mostly in specialty trade contractors (+2,200).

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