Arkansas’ unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8% in February (seasonally adjusted). The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Arkansas Department of Workforce Services show that the number of unemployed dropped for a second consecutive month, down by 768. The survey of households also showed that the number of employed increased by 3821 in February, and was up by nearly 16,000 from a year earlier.
Data from the payroll survey showed similar gains in February, with the number of jobs up by 2,000 for the month. The gains were exclusively in the service-providing sectors. Goods producing sectors showed a total decline of 2,900 jobs for the month. Large increases were recorded for Professional and Business Services (up 2,800) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 1,600).
A similar pattern can be seen in employment growth since February of last year. Total employment increased by nearly 23,000 jobs. Employment in the goods-producing sectors declined by about 3,500 jobs, with service-providing sectors adding 26,400 jobs.
Currently-available data suggest that February 2010 marked a low point in the employment series for both the U.S. and Arkansas (see chart below). The increase in Arkansas employment over the past 12 months represents a recovery of about 39 of the job losses recorded from the start of the recession (December 2007) through February 2010.
# # #*Seasonally adjusted data for nonfarm payroll employment, reported in a format compatible with the monthly press release from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, are available here: Table – Seasonally Adjusted NFPE