Although the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point in April, the employment report for Arkansas was generally positive. Both the household and payroll surveys showed employment growth, and labor force participation rose for the fourth consecutive month.
The unemployment rate ticked up from 3.1% to 3.2% as the number of unemployed increased by 1,133. The household measure of employment rose by 4,522—the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Since December, the number employed has risen by 19,806. The labor force expanded by 5,655, increasing the labor force participation rate by 0.2 percentage points to 56.8%.
The Arkansas unemployment rate remains exceptionally low, although the difference between the state’s 3.2% rate and the national unemployment rate of 3.6% is not statistically significant.
Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment increased by 2,400 in April (seasonally adjusted). Most sectors showed gains, with the exception of Construction (which may have been affected by poor weather conditions), Retail Trade, and Professional & Business Services. The job losses in Professional & Business services were primarily in the category of Administrative & Support Services. Other service providing sectors showed strong gains, including Health Care & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services.
Compared to a year earlier, Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment was up 37,400 jobs in April. The net gain relative to the previous business-cycle peak (February 2020) is now up to 12,600.
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Seasonally adjusted data for Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment, reported in a format consistent with the monthly news release from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, can be found here: Table-Seasonally Adjusted NFPE.