Construction sector helps AR unemployment numbers

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to the Associated Press, state officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate has dropped below seven percent for the first time in more than five years.

A construction boom in the area might have helped lower that percentage.

"We run out to eight to nine hundred inspections a month and this is a slow part of the year," said Jonesboro's Chief Building Official Terry Adams.

In the last 5 years, Adams said construction has progressively started to pick back up. Keeping up with Jonesboro's growth has kept them busy.

"We're seeing a better input for commercial buildings as well as residential houses," he said.

Construction sites are all over the city. Several of them are large projects that require a lot of man power.

"Right now we're running 63 pretty heavy commercial jobs in the area," he said. "That doesn't even count additions and alterations."

All of those projects could be a possible factor as to why the unemployment rate has gone down.

"There's been a need for construction workers, and then once your business is finished and opens up, then they need employees as well," said Adams. "Construction definitely helps the economy and unemployment rate."

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