State Unemployment Rises to 3.6% in November

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Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in November, up from 3.5 percent in October, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services reported Friday.

At the same time, the U.S. jobless rate was 3.5 percent in November, down from 3.6 percent in October.

“The number of employed and unemployed Arkansans increased for the second month in a row, adding to the size of the civilian labor force,” BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a news release. “While these gains were small, it was enough to push the unemployment rate up one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 percent.”

Compared to November 2018, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are up by 15,600. Seven major industry sectors posted growth, with four adding 2,400 or more jobs, each. 

  • Jobs in educational and health services were up by 3,500, with most of the expansion in health care and social assistance. 
  • Employment in construction rose by 3,300, related in part to ongoing large projects. 
  • Professional and business services added 3,000 jobs, with gains in management of companies and administrative-support services. 
  • Jobs in manufacturing increased by 2,400, largely in nondurable goods manufacturing. 

Other notable expansions include leisure and hospitality (1,800), trade-transportation-utilities (1,500) and financial activities (1,400).