The Arkansas Civilian Labor Force Summary from the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) shows the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 8.3 percent in September to 8.2 percent in October.
Arkansas' civilian labor force rose 6,900, a result of 7,500 more employed and 600 fewer unemployed Arkansans. The United States' jobless rate also declined one-tenth of a percentage point, down to 9.0 percent in October.
"This is the first time Arkansas' unemployment rate has declined since March 2011. The drop in the rate relates to a gain of 7,500 employed, which is the largest monthly employment increase of the year," said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman.
Since October 2010, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas decreased 1,200. Two major industry sectors posted job losses, more than offsetting the growth seen in six industries. Three sectors remained the same. Jobs in manufacturing decreased 6,400. Most of the drop occurred in nondurable goods manufacturing (-4,000), related to multiple layoffs and business closures. Trade, transportation, and utilities posted a decline of 2,900 jobs. A majority of the drop occurred in retail trade (-3,200), partially offset by gains in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+1,000). Government enjoyed the largest annual growth (+4,000), mostly at the local level. Jobs in educational and health services rose 1,900. A majority of the increase occurred in heath care and social assistance (+1,500). Financial activities added 1,200 jobs, related to expansions in finance and insurance.