Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 3.5% in February

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Arkansas’ unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5% last month, according to a report Friday by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

The report showed 1,239 more employed and 269 more unemployed Arkansans. During the same January-to-February period, the U.S. jobless rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.6% to 3.5%. 

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a news release, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate has remained stable at 3.5% since October 2019. While the number of unemployed has declined for the last six consecutive months, the movement was not enough to impact the unemployment rate overall.”

Compared to February 2019, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are down by 3,300. Six major industry sectors posted declines, while another five added jobs.

  • Employment in manufacturing decreased by 3,800, mostly in durable goods because of reductions in fabricated metal product manufacturing and the production of transportation equipment. 

  • Educational and Health services added 3,700 jobs, mostly health care and social assistance, with ambulatory health care accounting for most of the gains.

  • Jobs in leisure and hospitality are down 2,600, mostly in food services.

  • Government employment declined by 1,700, mostly in local government, with all the local government losses being in educational services.

  • Construction gained 1,300 jobs.

  • Employment in financial activities decreased by 1,000, all in finance and insurance.

  • Other services employment increased by 900.

  • Information lost 500 jobs.

  • Trade, transportation and utilities employment increased by 300.

  • Professional and business services added 200 jobs.

  • Mining and logging lost 100 jobs.