Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Remains Stable at 4.4 Percent in May

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Arkansas Civilian Labor Force Summary:

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released today by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, shows Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.4 percent in May. Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined 4,733, a result of 3,971 fewer employed and 762 fewer unemployed Arkansans. At 5.8 percent, the United States’ jobless rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point between April and May.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ economy continues to see improvement, as the number of employed has increased 61,414 compared to May 2020. At 4.4 percent, the states’ jobless rate is currently one and four-tenths of a percentage point lower than the United States’ rate.”

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased 6,100 in May to total 1,272,200. Seven major industry sectors posted gains, while four sectors declined. Jobs in manufacturing rose 2,400. Hiring occurred in both nondurable (+1,400) and durable (+1,000) goods manufacturing. Leisure and hospitality added 2,400 jobs. Expansions were posted in both accommodation-food services (+1,600) and in arts-entertainment-recreation (+800). Trade, transportation, and utilities increased 1,900, with reported hiring in all three subsectors. Jobs in educational and health services rose 1,200. Most of the gains were in health care and social assistance (+1,100). Professional and business services declined 1,200. Minor losses were reported across all subsectors.

Compared to May 2020, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are up 70,500. Ten major industry sectors reported growth. Leisure and hospitality added 20,300 jobs, mostly in food services (+14,300). Jobs in professional and business services increased 13,200. A majority of the hiring occurred in administrative and support services (+12,200), the subsector which includes employment agencies. Manufacturing added 11,000 jobs, mostly in durable goods (+10,900) manufacturing. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 11,000. Most of the expansion was in retail trade (+9,100). Educational and health services increased 7,500. Gains occurred in all subsectors, with health care and social assistance adding 5,600 jobs. Notable growth was also posted in other services (+3,100), government (+2,300), and financial activities (+1,200).

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