Arkansas Unemployment Up Slightly

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Unemployment in Arkansas rose one-tenth of a percent in November to five-point-two percent, mirroring an increase in the national rate.  Kimberly Friedman, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, says temporary shut-downs in the manufacturing industry contributed to the increased unemployment rate.

The manufacturing industry lost 2-thousand-200 jobs for the month, leaving 192-thousand-600 jobs in the sector. Most of the drop came from the electrical equipment segment. Over the 12-month period, the state has lost 6-thousand-700 manufacturing jobs. But trade, transportation, and utilities added 2-thousand-400 positions in November to reach a record employment level of 252-thousand-700.

Officials say additional hiring at retail stores in anticipation of the start of the holiday shopping season contributed to the record total. Overall, total employment in Arkansas declined by 500 jobs in November. The number of unemployed Arkansans increased by 2-thousand-100 people to 72-thousand-700.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.