Little Rock, AR – November 17, 2023 – The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, in collaboration with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported a marginal increase in the state’s unemployment rate for October. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly from 2.9% in September to 3.1% in October. This change reflects a broader trend, as the national jobless rate also increased from 3.8% to 3.9% during the same period.
In Arkansas, the civilian labor force added 803 individuals, maintaining its record-high level. However, the state experienced a decrease in employment by 1,813 and an increase in unemployment by 2,616. This marks the third consecutive month of a growing number of Arkansans actively seeking employment. Despite these changes, the labor force participation rate in Arkansas remained steady.
Year-over-year comparisons reveal a more positive outlook. Since October 2022, Arkansas has seen an increase of 27,041 employed individuals and a decrease of 5,413 in unemployment. The unemployment rate has fallen by four-tenths of a percentage point, while the labor force participation rate has increased by three-tenths of a percentage point.
The nonfarm payroll sector showed growth, with an addition of 3,700 jobs in October. This growth was led by gains in major industry sectors such as Trade-Transportation-Utilities (+2,000 jobs), Government (+2,000 jobs), and Construction (+1,300 jobs). Over the past year, the state has gained 11,700 nonfarm payroll jobs, with the most significant increases in Construction (+7,900), Private Education and Health Services (+6,900), and Leisure and Hospitality (+5,900). However, there were notable job losses in Trade-Transportation-Utilities (-5,100) and Manufacturing (-2,800).
These figures indicate a mixed economic scenario for Arkansas. While the unemployment rate has increased slightly, the overall employment and industry sector growth over the year present a resilient job market. The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services continues to monitor these trends closely, providing resources and support for job seekers and employers across the state oai_citation:1,Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Increased to 3.1% in October – AR Division of Workforce Services.
Arkansas Civilian Labor Force (Seasonally Adjusted)
Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted, In Thousands)