Arkansas unemployment rate rises to 2.9% in September

An almost 7% month-over-month increase in the number of unemployed workers pushed the unemployment rate in Arkansas to 2.9% in September from 2.7% in August. However, the number of unemployed in September is 16% lower than in September 2022.

The number of people employed in Arkansas during September was 1,352,437, up 28,978 jobs, or 2.2%, from September 2022, and slightly more than 1,352,200 in August, according to a report released Friday (Oct. 20) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. . . September figures are preliminary and subject to revision.

Arkansas’ labor force, the number of people eligible to work, was 1,392,337 in September, up 1.6% from 1,371,057 in September 2022 and up from 1,389,539 in August.

Arkansans without jobs totaled 39,900 in September, up 6.9% from 37,339 in August and down 16% from 47,598 in September 2022.

“The increase in the level of unemployment is related to the increase in the number of unemployed in the second month. The number of unemployed increased by 2,561 people in September after increasing by 1,715 (revised) in August. Dr. Michael Pakko noted, senior economist and state economic forecaster at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Economic Development Institute. ‚ÄúDespite these increases, the number of unemployed remains below 40,000 and the unemployment rate below 3% should be considered a sign of continued tight labor markets. The number of people working continued the long-term expansion, albeit at a slower pace in the past two months. The workforce continues to grow.”

The biggest sector gains over the year were in Leisure and Hospitality (8,600 more jobs), Education and Health Services (8,200 more jobs) and Construction (6,100 more jobs). Record employment was recorded in the construction, education and health services sectors in September.

According to the BLS report, the unemployment rate in September was higher in 16 states and stable in 34 states. Twenty-four states saw a decrease in the unemployment rate from a year ago, 10 saw an increase, and 16 saw little change. The national unemployment rate was 3.8%, unchanged for the month, but 0.3 percentage points higher than in September 2022.

Maryland had the lowest unemployment rate in September at 1.6%. The next lowest rates were in North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont at 1.9%. Rates set new lows in Maryland (1.6%), Pennsylvania (3.4%) and Rhode Island (2.6%). (All state series begin in 1976.) Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 5.4%. Overall, 25 states had unemployment rates lower than the US rate of 3.8%, 2 states had higher rates, and 23 states had rates not significantly different from the national rate.

Trade, Transport and Utilities
September 2023: 270,700
August 2023: 271,900
September 2022: 271,200
February marked an employment record for the sector with 276,500 jobs.

September 2023: 209,900
August 2023: 209,800
September 2022: 208,200
Sector employment peaked in July 2010 at 224,100.

Education and Health Services
September 2023: 209,200
August 2023: 208,900
September 2022: 201,000
September marked a new employment record for the sector.

September 2023: 161,800
August 2023: 164,000
September 2022: 163,900
Manufacturing, once the state’s largest job sector, posted a record 247,600 jobs in February 1995.

Professional and Business Services
September 2023: 154,300
August 2023: 153,500
September 2022: 156,300
September 2022 marked an employment record for the sector with 156,300 jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality
September 2023: 132,700
August 2023: 133,400
September 2022: 124,100
August marked a new employment record for the sector.

Financial Activities
September 2023: 70,200
August 2023: 70,700
September 2022: 71,500
The sector had a record employment of 71,500 in September 2022.

September 2023: 64,800
August 2023: 64,100
September 2022: 58,700
September marked a new employment record for the sector.

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