In a new report out today, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained constant in February at 7.8-percent, the same as the previous month. That figure had been a drop of one-tenth of a percentage point from December 2010.
Arkansas’ civilian labor force increased 3,000 in February, a result of 3,800 more employed and 800 fewer unemployed Arkansans.
DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said, “Over the year, the number of employed Arkansans rose 15,800. This expansion is partly related to increased employment in service-providing industries.”
Seven major industry sectors added jobs, more than offsetting declines in four sectors. The largest gain occurred in professional and business services (+4,700). Most of the increase was related to additions at employment agencies and seasonal gains in accounting and bookkeeping services. Government added 4,000 jobs, as public school employment returned to normal after the winter break. The largest decline occurred in manufacturing (-1,400), with losses in both nondurable and durable goods manufacturing. Jobs in construction dropped 1,100.
Since February 2010, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased 23,400. Nine major industry sectors posted over-the-year expansions, with five adding 2,500 or more jobs, each. The largest gain occurred in professional and business services (+9,600), with administrative and support services experiencing a majority of the increase. Trade, transportation and utilities added 4,900 jobs, particularly in retail trade (+2,400) and transportation-warehousing-utilities (+2,800). Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 4,300, mostly in food services (+3,700). Educational and health services gained 2,900, attributed in large part to growth in social assistance (+2,600). Jobs in other services increased 2,500.
The Labor force data is produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.