Arkansas’ jobless rate has ticked higher during 2013, with the July unemployment rate rising to 7.4% from the 7.3% in June. The rate is unchanged compared to July 2012.
Although the jobless rate remained the same compared to July 2012, the size of Arkansas’ labor force fell 1.8%, and the number of employed fell by an estimated 22,771, or down 1.8%.
The number of employed in Arkansas during July was 1.229 million, down compared to the 1.252 million in July 2012, according to the Monday (Aug. 19) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of unemployed fell from 99,493 in July 2012 to an estimated 97,806 in July 2013. The number of unemployed increased by an estimated 37 between May and July.
Arkansas’ annual average jobless rate fell from 7.9% during 2011 to 7.3% during 2012. In July, Arkansas was one of nine states to see a jobless rate increase compared to July 2012. Also, July marked the 54th consecutive month that Arkansas’ jobless rate has been at or above 7%.
ARKANSAS SECTOR NUMBERS
In the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector — Arkansas’ largest job sector — employment during July was an estimated 251,600, up from 251,400 in June and well ahead of the 241,100 during July 2012.
Manufacturing jobs in Arkansas during July totaled 153,900, down from the 154,400 in June and below the 155,800 in July 2012. Employment in the manufacturing sector fell in 2012 to levels not seen since early 1968. Peak employment in the sector was 247,300 in February 1995.
Government job employment during July was 214,800, down from 214,900 in June and below the 215,700 during July 2012.
The state’s Education and Health Services sector during July had 176,900 jobs, up from the 174,200 during June and up from 170,800 during July 2012. Employment in the sector is up almost 27% compared to July 2003.
Arkansas’ tourism sector (leisure & hospitality) employed 101,500 during July, down from revised 102,000 during June, and below the 102,100 during July 2012. At a revised 103,700, January 2013 marked a new employment high in the sector.
The BLS report also noted that 36 states had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, nine states had increases, and five states had no change. The national jobless rate during July was at 7.4%, and was down from the 8.2% in July 2012.
Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in July at 9.5%. The next highest rate was in Illinois with 9.2%. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 3%.
The July jobless rate in Oklahoma was 5.3%, up from 5.2% in June and unchanged compared to July 2012.
Missouri’s jobless rate during July was 7.1%, up from 6.9% in June and unchanged compared to July 2012.