Arkansas’ December unemployment rate of 3.6% was better than 3.7% in November but higher than 3.3% in December 2021. The labor force participation rate has improved, but the number of unemployed in Arkansas has grown by almost 13%.
According to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released on Tuesday (Jan. 24). December data are preliminary and subject to change.
The Arkansas workforce, the number of people eligible to work, was 1,352,115 in December, up 1.6% from 1,330,743 in December 2021 and up from 1,351,852 in November. The state’s labor force participation rate was 56.5% in December, up from 56.2% in December 2021.
Arkansas residents were 49,076 unemployed in December, down from 49,409 in November and up 12.6% from 43,577 in December 2021.
The largest gains compared to last year were in manufacturing (an additional 5,200 jobs), education and healthcare (an additional 5,000 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (an additional 4,100 jobs). The professional and business services sector reported a loss of 3,500 jobs compared to last year.
NATIONAL NUMBERSUtah had the lowest unemployment rate in December at 2.2%. The next lowest rates were in North Dakota and South Dakota at 2.3% each. Rates in Alaska (4.3%) and Pennsylvania (3.9%) set new series lows. (All state ranks start with 1976.) Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 5.2%. A total of 14 states had lower unemployment rates than the U.S. (3.5%), 11 states and the county had higher unemployment rates, and 25 states had slightly different national unemployment rates.
Seven states saw monthly increases in unemployment in December, the largest of which was in Nevada (+0.3 percentage points). Five states experienced monthly declines, with Maryland the largest (-0.3 percentage point). Unemployment rates in 38 states and the District of Columbia were not much different from a month earlier, although some saw changes at least as large in numbers as significant changes.
SECTOR NUMBERSTrade, transport and utilities December 2022: 266,700 November 2022: 265,900 December 2021: 262,700 Employment in the sector set a record of 268,000 in July 2022
Government Dec 2022: 209,400 Nov 2022: 209,600 Dec 2021: 208,900 Employment in the sector peaked at 224,100 in May 2010.
Education and healthDecember 2022: 199,800November 2022: 198,700December 2021: 194,800Employment in the sector set a new record of 202,000 in August 2022
Production December 2022: 164,400 November 2022: 164,200 December 2021: 159,200
Professional & Business Services December 2022: 148,600 November 2022: 148,800 December 2021: 152,100 Employment in the sector set a record of 152,600 in January 2022
Leisure & HospitalityDecember 2022: 124,700November 2022: 124,800December 2021: 120,600Employment in the sector set a new record of 124,800 in November 2022
Financial activityDecember 2022: 69,000November 2022: 68,700December 2021: 66,300Employment in December was a new record for the sector.
ConstructionDecember 2022: 55,700 November 2022: 54,700 December 2021: 56,100 The sector achieved a record 57,700 jobs in February 2006.