Arkansas Jobless Rate Unchanged At 5.7%, Hospitality Jobs Pace Gains

Jun 19, 2015

Arkansas’ May unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7% from April, but the measuring stick for job health was down 0.8% from one year ago.

Employment numbers rose by 900 for the month and unemployment ranks added 600 to the jobless rolls between April and May in Arkansas.

During the past 12 months, 46,100 Arkansans have been added to the workforce, while 3,000 have exited. Economists speculate that those departing the workforce are a combination of those giving up looking for work, those moving out of state, and retirements led by Baby Boomers.

Still, the net 43,100 in jobs growth over the last year is a positive for the state.

Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Employment and unemployment both increased slightly in May, but the gains were not enough to change the unemployment rate. This month’s employment increase marks the eighteenth consecutive month of growth.”

In an accompanying Monthly Survey of Employers, seven major industry categories added jobs, two declined, and two sectors remained unchanged in a month-to-month comparison. Year-over-year, eight sectors showed growth, two declined and one remained unchanged.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector showed the strongest job growth adding 6,100 jobs over the past year. The Mining and Logging industries and Government jobs have both fallen by 400 in the past 12 months.

May 2015 vs. May 2014
Mining/Logging -400
Construction +2,300
Manufacturing +800
Trade/Transportation +5,400
Information 0
Finance +700
Professional/Business +3,000
Education/Health +3,700
Leisure/Hospitality +6,100
Other +300
Government -400