The Department of Workforce Services says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.9-percent in December 2010 to 7.8-percent in January 2011.
Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 1,300, a result of 1,600 more employed and 300 fewer unemployed Arkansans.
DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said, “The number of employed Arkansans has steadily increased since August 2010, adding at least 1,500 each month since September. The last time employment reached 1,255,500 was in June 2009.”
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas decreased 19,900 in January to total 1,152,200. Eight major industry sectors posted declines, more than offsetting minor gains in three sectors. The greatest loss occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (-5,600), attributed mostly to the seasonal drop in retail trade. Government (-4,800) and educational and health services (-1,500) both posted seasonal declines related to school employment. Seasonal fluctuations also caused decreases in leisure and hospitality (-3,000) and construction (-2,500).
Since January 2010, nonfarm payroll employment increased 18,100. Nine major industry sectors enjoyed annual growth, while two posted losses. The largest increase occurred in professional and business services (+5,600), with administrative and support services experiencing most of the growth (+5,300). Leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation, and utilities both added 3,900 jobs, each. Jobs in educational and health services rose 3,000, mostly caused by growth in social assistance (+2,400). Construction posted the largest annual decline (-2,000).
The Labor force data is produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.