Arkansas labor market conditions were little-changed in June. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.2%, paralleling the national unemployment rate, which was unchanged at 3.6%.
The number of unemployed workers crept slightly higher again in June, rising by 688 compared to the May figures. The number of unemployed has increased for three consecutive months, rising by approximately 2,000 since April. The number of employed rose by 2,050 in June pushing the labor force up by 2,738.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 4,100 in June, recovering from a downwardly revised decline of 4,400 in the previous month (seasonally adjusted data). Solid job-growth was seen throughout the goods-producing sector and in Trade, Transportation and Utilities. The only sectors where employment declined in June was Professional and Business Services, Leisure and Hospitality Services, Other Services and Government. The decline in Government employment was concentrated in the state and local government, associated with employment in education. The Department of Workforce Services also cited declines in temporary workers at schools as contributing to the decline in the Administrative & Support Services component of Professional and Business Services.
Construction employment increased by 1,100 jobs, but remains slightly below the level of a year ago. Retail Trade, Government Services,and Mining & Logging are also down from June 2021. Total employment over the past 12 months has increased by 32,500, representing an increase of 2.5%. Gains have been small in recent months, however. The cumulative increase in employment since January has been only 500 jobs. Compared to the business-cycle peak of February 2020, Arkansas employment is up by 9,200 (1.0%). A comparable calculation for the United States shows that the nation has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, remaining 0.3% below the employment total of February 2020.
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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.