The unemployment rate in Arkansas declined by 0.1% in July, bringing the rate back down to where it was in March — 5.6%. The national unemployment rate in July was 5.3%.
Arkansas’ labor force contracted slightly in July as the number of unemployed dropped (-1,300) by more than the increase in the number of employed (+1,000). July’s small labor force contraction followed 14 consecutive months of increase.
Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 1,200 in July (seasonally adjusted). Employment in the construction sector showed a particularly sharp increase for the month (+1,800), bringing the 12-month cumulative growth in that sector to 6,800 jobs. Professional and Business services also showed a robust gain (+1,000). Several sectors saw job losses in July, including Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade. Overall, payroll employment over the past 12 months has increased by 28,400 jobs — a growth rate of 2.4%.
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*Seasonally adjusted data for Arkansas nonfarm payroll employment, reported in a format compatible with the monthly news release from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, can be found here: Table-Seasonally Adjusted NFPE.