Arkansas jobless rate falls to 7.1 percent

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Unemployment in Arkansas fell in August while the national rate rose.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services reported Friday a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.1 percent - down from 7.4 percent in July.

The United State's jobless rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 9.7 percent.

DWS spokesman Kimberly Friedman said Friday that while the number of Arkansans with a job fell by 200 - the number of unemployed dropped by 4,300.

Friedman said the biggest increase came in government hiring with 4,500 jobs being added. Most of the increase is due to back-to-school hiring.

Friedman calls the drop in the unemployment rate encouraging, but says it's too soon to say it's an indication of the start of a recovery in the job market.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)