Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released Friday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.7% in March to 3.6% in April.

Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose 1,001, a result of 2,107 more employed and 1,106 fewer unemployed Arkansans. Down two-tenths of a percentage point, the United States’ jobless rate decreased from 3.8% in March to 3.6% in April.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said: “Employment in Arkansas rose for the fourth straight month, with 10,700 more employed over-the-year. Nonfarm payroll jobs also increased, setting a new record high number of jobs in the State.”

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment increased 8,700 in April to total 1,279,000. Nine major industry sectors posted gains, with three adding 2,000 or more jobs, each. Employment in construction rose 2,300, due largely to seasonal hiring. Jobs in professional and business services increased 2,100. Most of the expansion occurred in administrative and support services (+1,400). Leisure and hospitality added 2,000 jobs. Gains were posted in both arts, entertainment, and recreation (+1,000) and in accommodation and food services (+1,000), a typical seasonal growth.

Compared to April 2018, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 14,300. Expansions were reported in nine major industry sectors. Manufacturing added 3,700 jobs, with hiring in both durable (+2,700) and nondurable (+1,000) goods manufacturing. Jobs in construction rose 2,800, related to on-going large-scale projects across the State. Employment in leisure and hospitality increased 2,100. All growth occurred in accommodation and food services (+2,200). Trade, transportation, and utilities added 1,800 jobs, mostly in wholesale trade (+1,600). Educational and health services gained 1,600 jobs, all in health care and social assistance (+2,000). Jobs in government rose 1,300. Hiring was reported in both local (+1,000) and federal (+300) government.

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