LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The month of April saw stability in the Arkansas unemployment rate at 4.4 percent between March and April.
That information comes from the latest labor force data produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics report released by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Service on Friday.
The Arkansas civilian labor force increased 1,984, a result of 2,779 more employed and 795 fewer unemployed Arkansans.
Governor Asa Hutchinson was encouraged by the report as the State pulls away from COVID-19 restrictions
“Our stable unemployment rate assures me that we are steadily moving in the right direction after more than a year of COVID-19,” Hutchinson said on Friday. “Before the pandemic, our economy was strong. We’ve encountered many challenges over the past 15 months, but we have persevered and fought our way back from the 10 percent rate a year ago.”
The United States jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point, from 6.0 percent in March to 6.1 percent in April.
Compared to April 2020 when COVID-related job losses peaked, the number of unemployed in Arkansas has declined 77,978,” BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said. “Employment is up 68,488 and the unemployment rate is down significantly from the peak of 10.0 percent last April.”
Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs rose 6,100 in April to total 1,266,200.
The largest increase was in leisure and hospitality, up 3,800 jobs.
Compared to April 2020, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are up 94,600.
“The highlight of the report is that more Arkansans are finding jobs and returning to the workforce,” Hutchinson said. “I am particularly pleased with the employment gains in the hospitality industry, and I am hopeful the next month will show even more Arkansans returning to work.”