The number of unemployed people in Arkansas was down in January. The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services released its monthly report Tuesday, which showed more than 9,000 jobs were added between December 2014 and January 2015. This puts the state’s unemployment rate at 5.6 percent, which is just under the national average of 5.7.
Michael Pakko, Chief Economist at UALR’s Institute for Economic Advancement, said the report factors in expected changes due to temporary holiday jobs.
“Looking at the breakdown of the categories, we saw declines in jobs in areas that you might expect for seasonal reasons, retail trade, transportation, things like that, but once you account for the seasonal fluctuations, the changes were much smaller. We saw a slight decline in manufacturing, [but] a nice increase in construction employment. That was a reassuring sign,” Pakko said.
By comparison, North Dakota’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 2.8 percent and the District of Columbia, at 7.7 percent, is the highest.
Arkansas’ unemployment is down a full percentage point from January 2014, a result of the addition of nearly 27,000 jobs over the past year.