A report released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a job market continuing to improve for Arkansans. The unemployment rate is improved from last month and down from 7.5 percent this time last year to 7.1 percent.
Michael Pakko with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Institute for Economic Advancement said the data is showing a trend with other recent reports.
“This was the sixth consecutive month that we’ve seen those underlying statistics move in the right direction. It was a fairly positive report overall particularly when it comes to the household employment statistics,” said Pakko.
The report also shows one of the state’s most important sectors of the economy growing.
“We’ve been seeing some general weakness in the goods producing sectors, manufacturing and construction, in recent years. Those have been the areas that have been slow to recover from the recession. But the good news is that over the first couple of months of 2014 we’ve seen some pretty substantial gains in those areas,” said Pakko.
Arkansas was one of 49 states to show decreasing unemployment rates. The national rate dropped from 7.7 percent this time last year to 6.7 percent.