Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose five-tenths of one percent to 5.4 in October, well above the national rate of 6.5 percent. Manufacturers in the state have shed 5,800 jobs in the past 12 months.
“While our unemployment rate did increase, there are 16,500 more employed Arkansans than in October 2007. Arkansas’ unemployment rate is still lower than it was a year ago and is currently more than one percentage point less than the national rate,” Kimberly Friedman, communications director for the Department of Workforce Services, said in a statement.
The number of nonfarm payroll jobs rose by 400 between October 2007 and October 2008.
Following is the breakdown of job gains and losses in between October 2007 and October 2008.
• Manufacturing lost 5,800 jobs. “Declines were posted in durable and nondurable goods, as layoffs and closures continued around the state,” the state report noted.
• Educational and health services posted the greatest increase with 3,700 jobs added. Additions in health care and social assistance accounted for approximately 90 percent of the gain, due partly to the continuing growth within the home health industry, according to the state report.
• Leisure and hospitality added 1,100 jobs, with 700 jobs in restaurants accounting for the bulk of the gain.
• Professional and business services added 1,000 jobs.
Between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, the Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force responded to 118 companies that reported 7,444 job closures.