Arkansas Unemployment Rate Stays Flat, Just Above National Average

Apr 21, 2015

Broadway Bridge

The unemployment rate in Arkansas remained flat at 5.6 percent in March according to information released Tuesday by the state Department of Workforce Services. The rate is the same as a revised jobless rate for February.

Spokeswoman Becky Heflin said it’s not unusual to have unemployment numbers hold steady.

“In September and October of 2014 the rate remained stable at 5.8 percent, then again between November and December the rate dropped to 5.7 percent and remained stable during those two months. When we look at 2013 the rate was unchanged for six months between February and July, holding stable at 7.3.”

Heflin said the science and tech sector lost 700 jobs. That’s nearly the entire year-to-date loss for that sector, which stands at 800 since March 2014.

“Over the year the various business activities that fall under science and tech subsectors have reported declines. A few samples are legal services, accounting services, architecture, engineering, advertising, and computer design systems are just a few,” said Heflin.

Construction had the largest decline in jobs, at 2,000 positions. Over 2,300 jobs were added to leisure and hospitality, 1,000 to state and local government, and 900 to manufacturing.

The Arkansas unemployment rate is one-tenth of a percent above the national average of 5.5 percent.