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Arkansas’s unemployment rate climbs to 10.2 percent in April



LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  – The unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in April, according to labor force data released Friday by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

That is a 5.2 percent increase from the rate in March (five percent, which was more than the preliminary March estimate of 4.8 percent).

Arkansas civilian labor force declined 69,598, a result of 133,832 fewer employed and 64,234 additional unemployed Arkansans.

The United States’ jobless rate rose over ten percentage points, from 4.4 percent in March to 14.7 percent in April.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose sharply in April to 10.2 percent, but is still less than the national rate of 14.7 percent. In addition to the increase in unemployed Arkansans due to the COVID-19 response, the number of employed declined even more. This is related in part to the lack of typical Spring hiring at businesses that were unable to open or expand as scheduled”.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs dropped 97,800 in April to total 1,172,000. Employment decreased in all eleven major industry sectors. Leisure and hospitality was hardest hit by the pandemic response, down 33,600 jobs. While all subsectors posted declines, food services (-32,300) accounted for most of the job loss. Employment in educational and health services dropped 20,300. Most of the decrease was reported in health care and social assistance (-18,300), due to the temporary closure of certain types of medical facilities. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities declined 11,800, largely in retail trade (-9,900). Professional and business services declined 10,300. A majority of the loss occurred in
administrative and support services (-7,800), a subsector that includes employment agencies. Jobs in manufacturing were down 7,600, related to reductions in both durable (-4,700) and nondurable (-2,900) goods manufacturing. Notable decreases were also posted in government (-6,400) and other services (-4,900).

Compared to April 2019, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are down 111,200. All major industry sectors posted job losses. Jobs in leisure and hospitality fell 41,400, mostly in accommodation and food services (-40,100). Employment in educational and health services dropped 19,000. A majority of the decline occurred in health care and social assistance (-17,100). Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities decreased 11,500, with losses in retail trade at 11,300. Manufacturing declined 11,400, mostly in durable goods manufacturing (-8,700). Other sizable reductions occurred in professional and business services (-9,100), government (-8,600), and other services (-5,900).

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