(FOX24 via KARK) — Arkansas’s employment levels have reached their highest point in several years.
That’s according to the latest unemployment report for the state.
Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released today by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.2 percent in February to 4.0 percent in March.
Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose 7,262, a result of 9,569 more employed and 2,307 fewer unemployed Arkansans.
“Arkansas’ unemployment rate decreased in March, as employment gains increased the size of the civilian labor force. The number of employed rose 9,569, reaching employment levels not seen since 2008,” said BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price.
The United States’ jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.0 percent in March.
Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased 4,600 in March to total 1,223,900. Employment gains were posted in six major industry sectors, while declines occurred in four sectors. Professional and business services added 3,300 jobs. Most of the expansion occurred in administrative and support services (+3,000), a subsector which includes employment agencies and landscaping services. Jobs in leisure and hospitality rose 1,200. Seasonal hiring was reported across all subsectors. Employment in manufacturing declined 1,400, largely in durable goods manufacturing (-1,200). Losses were due in part to reported contractions in various industries, including transportation equipment manufacturing and fabricated metal product manufacturing.
Since March 2015, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment has increased 28,900. Nine major industry sectors posted job growth, with four adding 6,400 or more jobs, each. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 8,100. Most of the hiring was in retail trade (+5,600). Leisure and hospitality increased 7,200, attributed in large part to expansions in food services (+6,400). Professional and business services added 6,500 jobs. Gains were posted across all three subsectors. Jobs in educational and health services rose 6,400, with most of the growth occurring in health care and social assistance (+5,800). Manufacturing jobs dropped 2,500. Declines in durable goods manufacturing (-3,200) were partially offset by gains in nondurable goods manufacturing (+700).