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Arkansas Employment and Unemployment – April 2024

The latest report on state-level employment and unemployment showed another strong month for Arkansas’ labor markets. Unemployment was down and employment continues to expand at an accelerated pace relative to the second half of last year.

The unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.4% in April. The number of unemployed declined by 826, the third consecutive monthly decline. The number of employed was up by 3,577—representing an accelerated pace in a six-month growth trend. The labor force continues to increase as well, up 2,731 in April.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

The unemployment rate has lower for three consecutive months now, although it remains 0.6 percentage points higher than a year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate increased to 3.9% and is 0.5 percentage points higher than in April 2023 (which was a low point for both Arkansas and the U.S.).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Payroll Employment
Arkansas Nonfarm payroll employment expanded by 5,100 in April, following a revised 6,300 increase the previous month (seasonally adjusted). Nearly every major sector reflected higher employment in April, with the exception of Durable Goods manufacturing (-100 jobs). The largest employment gains were registered in Retail Trade and Health Care services.

Compared to a year earlier, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, and Information Services have all seen declines, with all other major sectors contributing to employment growth. Education and Health Services (particularly Health), Retail Trade, Leisure and Hospitality Services and Construction have all shown strong gains since April 2023. Total employment is up 23,600—about 1.8%. Over the same period, U.S. employment growth has also been 1.8%.

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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.