AR unemployment climbs to 3.5 percent in August

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Unemployment rate falls 09.04.15_1505496129287.PNG

The Arkansas unemployment rate headed upward last month.

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released today by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.4 percent in July to 3.5 percent in August.

Arkansas’ civilian labor force added 3,272, a result of 2,038 additional employed and 1,234 more unemployed Arkansans.

Reaching 4.4 percent, the United States’ jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point between July and August.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in August, as the number of employed and unemployed both rose slightly. The movement in the jobless rate mirrored the trend seen at the national level.”

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs decreased 2,600 in August to total 1,241,200. Seven major industry sectors posted declines, while three sectors added jobs. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities dropped 3,000. A majority of the loss occurred in wholesale trade (-1,600), attributed in part to reported contractions in farm supplies merchant wholesalers. Jobs in leisure and hospitality decreased 1,100.  Accommodation and food services posted most of the decline (-800). Government added 2,800 jobs. Expansions occurred in local (+1,600) and state (+1,500) government, as public educational facilities begin the new school year.

Compared to August 2016, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 22,500. Growth occurred in seven major industry sectors, with four adding 3,300 or more jobs, each.  Employment is down in four industry sectors. Educational and health services reported the largest increase, up 6,600. Gains were seen in both health care and social assistance (+3,600) and educational services (+3,000). Professional and business services added 5,100 jobs. Most of the expansion occurred in administrative and support services (+5,200), a subsector which includes employment agencies. Jobs in leisure and hospitality rose 4,600, largely in food services (+3,000). Manufacturing increased 3,300, all in nondurable goods manufacturing (+4,500). Gains was also reported in other services (+1,800), trade-transportationutilities (+1,700), and construction (+1,600). Government posted the largest decline, down 1,500.

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