The latest state-level report on employment and unemployment shows that recent trends in Arkansas labor markets continue. Although the unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.6% the number of unemployed declined for the ninth consecutive month, reaching a new all-time low. Payroll employment growth slowed slightly on a month-to-month basis, but continues to trend higher at a healthy rate.
Recent declines in the number of unemployed have been the primary force driving the unemployment rate lower, but labor force participation and employment are also on rising trends.
Arkansas Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 800 jobs in July, a slightly slower pace than in recent months, but an increase nonetheless (seasonally adjusted data). Professional & Business Services led the way, increasing by 900. Only the Administrative & Support Services sub-component of that sector was down from the previous month. Leisure & Hospitality services continued on a strong post-covid recovery path (+400). Several sectors were down slightly, including Construction, Manufacturing (Nondurables), Retail Trade, and Transportation & Utilities. Among the other service sectors, both Health and Education components were slightly lower than in June.
Compared to a year ago, payroll employment is up by 27,600 jobs, or about 2.1% — a growth rate consistent with the most robust of economic expansions, and that is consistent with the national growth rate of 2.2%.
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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.