Arkansas jobless rate falls to 3.1%

Unemployment continues to reach record lows in Arkansas, with state officials reporting Friday that joblessness dipped to 3.1% in February and remained significantly below the U.S. rate of 3.8%.

“It’s another positive report,” Michael Pakko, state economist with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, said Friday. “The unemployment rate at 3.1% is a record low. We were one of nine states to have the lowest unemployment rate in the series history since 1976.”

While the labor pool, which indicates the number of Arkansans seeking jobs, improved from month to month, the number of those looking for work still remains well below that of two years ago, before the pandemic hurt the economy.

In a year-over-year comparison, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 44,300 statewide, officials reported Friday. Nine industry sectors registered gains, with four sectors each adding more than 6,200 jobs: trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and manufacturing.

Read the full article from Arkansas Democrat Gazette here.