The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) says Arkansas' civilian labor force increased by 500, a result of 3,300 more employed and 2,800 fewer unemployed Arkansans.
National unemployment dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April.
"The number of employed Arkansans increased for the ninth straight month. Higher employment in April contributed to the decrease in the unemployment rate. Compared to a year ago, there are 30,700 more employed Arkansans," said DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman.
Since April 2011, Arkansas' nonfarm payroll employment decreased 5,400. Six major industry sectors reported declines, more than offsetting growth in four sectors. Employment in mining and logging remained stable. Jobs in professional and business services dropped 5,500. Losses in administrative and support services (-3,500) were attributed to reported declines in office administrative services and in employment services. Jobs in manufacturing fell 5,000, related to continued layoffs and closures. Trade, transportation, and utilities employment decreased 2,500. A majority of the loss occurred in retail trade (-2,000), related in part to reported reductions at general merchandise stores. Leisure and hospitality added 4,800 jobs. The growth occurred in accommodation and food services. Jobs in government increased 3,700. Gains in local government (+4,800) more than offset the declines in federal government (-1,100). Employment in educational and health services rose 3,700, mostly in health care and social assistance (+2,500).