LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped to one-tenth of a percentage point to a record low of 3.7 percent in February, according to labor statistics released Friday.
The state Department of Workforce Services said data from the U.S. Department of Labor show the state’s February unemployment rate was one percentage point below the national rate of 4.7 percent, which was down from 4.8 percent in January.
Arkansas’ jobless rate also was down from its February 2016 level of 4.1 percent.
DWS said 1.29 million Arkansans were employed, and 49,665 were unemployed last month.
Seven major industry sectors saw job increases and three saw losses in February, the agency said.
The biggest increase was in professional and business services, which added 6,300 jobs last month, 5,800 of them in administrative and support services.
Jobs in government increased overall by 5,000 in February. State government added 4,600 jobs and local government added 500, with the increases attributed to the reopening of public schools after the winter break.
Education and health services added 2,600 jobs last month, 1,600 of them in health care and social assistance.
Leisure and hospitality added 2,000 jobs in February, 1,100 of them in food services.
Construction jobs increased by 1,200 last month, 1,000 of them in specialty trade contractors.
The biggest decrease in February was in trade, transportation and utilities, which lost 700 jobs.