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    Arkansas, national unemployment rate drops in latest report

    By Alex Kienlen,


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas workers now have three consecutive months of good news in the latest report on unemployment rates by the state’s Division of Workforce Services.

    The Friday report stated that Arkansas’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in March, down from 3.6% in February and 3.7% in January.

    The report’s authors said that for this same time period, the national rate also dropped by a tenth of a point to 3.8% in March.

    The report continues that in March the civilian labor force rose by 5,019 while the number of unemployed in the state dropped by 1,228. The labor force participation rate was unchanged from February at 57.4%.

    Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose by 10,900 in March, led by leisure and hospitality, which added 4,800 jobs, trade-transportation-utilities, which added 2,000 jobs and manufacturing, which added 1,800 jobs.

    Arkansas added 15,400 jobs in March compared to March a year ago, led by the private education and health services category, which added 6,200 jobs. Construction is up 5,600 jobs in a year, while durable goods manufacturing jobs declined by 1,600.

    Washington County in northwest Arkansas has the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.4%, down from February’s 2.6%, which was also the lowest in the state at the time. Phillips County in the Delta region has the highest at 6.4%, according to DWS.

    The all-time lowest unemployment for the state was June 2023 at 2.6%.

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