Arkansas sets new employment record

Arkansas sets new employment record
There are 126,500 workers in the state’s tourism industry, with most of those positions in the accommodations and food service industry. (Source: Pablo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) -The Arkansas jobless rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point in June. According to an article written by Talk Business and Politics, it fell to 3.5%, matching the state’s all-time low in 2017 and 2018.

Division of Workforce Service officials reported Friday, July 19, that employment levels across the state peaked for the fifth straight month.

Arkansas BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said employment reached record highs.

“The addition of 1,949 employed Arkansans also set a new record, with employment reaching record high levels for the last five consecutive months,” she said.

Arkansas unemployment levels first reached an all-time low of 3.5% during a three-month stretch in the summer of 2017, then in September and October of 2018. The state’s jobless rate first fell below 4% in June 2016, the first time at that level since state labor officials began compiling such records. The state’s unemployment rate is also now below the nation’s jobless rate, which climbed to 3.7% in June.

The number of people eligible to work rose from 741 to 1,362,631, up 0.9% or 13,034 from June 2018. The total number of people employed went up by 1,949 to a record 1,315,337.

Arkansans without jobs in June totaled 47,294, down from 48,502 in May and the 48,502 unemployed in the same period a year ago.

The largest increase of 3,300 occurred in leisure and hospitality as the tourism industry ramps up for its peak summer vacation season. There are 126,500 workers in the state’s tourism industry, with most of those positions in the accommodations and food service industry.

Arkansas’ non-farm payroll jobs has increased by 19,300 with growth occurring in nine major industry sectors, with four adding 2,400 or more jobs. Leisure and hospitality gained 5,500 jobs, while the blue collar-focused manufacturing sector added some 3,800 at both durable and non-durable factories.

Construction hiring also increased by 2,900 jobs. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 2,400 with key gains in the retail and wholesale trade areas. Notable additions were also posted in educational and health services, professional and business services and financial activities at 1,900,800 and 1,000 new positions.

Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate with an all-time low at 2.1%. Alaska has the highest jobless rate at 6.4%. Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in June, 2.1 percent. The rates in Alabama, Arkansas and New Jersey, all at 3.5%, set new lows. Texas, which had the nation’s largest job gains at 315,600, also touched an all-time low at 3.4%.

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