Arkansas Unemployment Rate Sees Slight Increase

LITTLE ROCK, AR — The unemployment rate in Arkansas saw a slight increase in January.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.1 percent in December 2012 to 7.2 percent in January 2013.

The United States’ jobless rate also increased to 7.9 percent, up slightly from 7.8 percent.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose slightly in January, related in large part to the decline in employment. The rate increase was not unexpected and mirrors the trend seen at the national level,” said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs declined 20,800 in January to total 1,163,700. Losses were posted in all eleven major industry sectors. Jobs in government dropped 6,100. Most of the decreases occurred in state (-4,200) and local (-1,400) government, attributed to the holiday break in public schools. Trade, transportation, and utilities employment fell 5,800. A majority of the losses occurred in retail trade (-3,400), related to the end of the holiday shopping season. Jobs in construction declined 2,700, a typical seasonal fluctuation. Professional and business services decreased 1,900. Most of the contractions occurred in administrative and support services (-1,700), which includes employment
Since January 2012, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 5,300. Five major industry sectors posted job growth, more than offsetting declines in six sectors. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 8,300 jobs, with a majority of the gains occurring in the retail trade subsector (+6,300). Jobs in educational and health services increased 2,400. Most of the growth was reported in health care and social assistance (+2,000), particularly in ambulatory health care. Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 1,300. Food services added a majority of the jobs (+1,000), with reported hiring split between both full service and limited service restaurants. Construction posted the greatest loss (-2,700). Employment declines were reported in highway, street and bridge construction, related to project completions.

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