The Department of Workforce Services released new figures today that show Arkansas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.1 percent in June to 8.2 percent in July.
Arkansas' civilian labor force declined 6,000, a result of 7,400 fewer employed and 1,400 more unemployed Arkansans. The United States' jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.2 percent in June to 9.1 percent in July.
DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said, "Arkansas' unemployment rate rose slightly in July. The increase, however, follows historical trends for July, as Arkansas' rate usually increases one tenth of a percentage point or stays the same."
Employment in professional and business services declined 2,200. The largest drop occurred in professional, scientific, and technical services (-1,400), related in part to reported decreases in computer systems design services and marketing consulting. Trade, transportation, and utilities experienced a reduction of 1,300 jobs. Following a typical seasonal trend, both wholesale trade (-800) and retail trade (-600) experienced losses. Construction added 2,000 seasonal jobs, all in specialty trade contractors. Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 1,400, mostly related to the seasonal gains in accommodation and food services (+1,100).
Since July 2010, Arkansas' nonfarm payroll employment increased 7,000. Eight major industry sectors posted growth, with four sectors showing gains of 2,000 or more jobs, each. Leisure and hospitality enjoyed the largest expansion (+7,600), as accommodation and food services posted a majority of the increase (+6,700). Professional and business services added 3,000 jobs. The growth occurred in administrative and support services, which includes business support services and services to buildings and dwellings. Employment in educational and health services rose 2,200, and other services increased 2,000. The other services sector includes activities such as repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and membership organizations. Jobs in government declined 5,400, related largely to the end of temporary federal jobs.