LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to a record low of 3.6 percent in March, according to labor statistics released Friday.
The state Department of Workforce Services said U.S. Department of Labor data show the state’s March unemployment rate was nearly a percentage point below the national jobless rate of 4.5 percent, which was down from 4.7 percent in February.
Arkansas’ unemployment rate also was down from the state’s March 2016 jobless rate of 4.1 percent.
DWS said 1.3 million Arkansans were employed and 48,609 were unemployed last month.
Seven major industry sectors saw overall growth in jobs and two saw declines in March. Leisure and hospitality had the biggest increase with 2,800 jobs added, 2,300 of them in accommodation and food services.
Trade, transportation and utilities added 2,300 jobs last month, 1,200 of them in retail trade, a typical increase for the spring shopping season.
Professional and business services jobs grew by 2,000 in March, with most of the gains occurring in administrative and support services.
Educational and health services saw jobs decrease by 1,300 last month. Most of the job losses were in health care and social assistance and were attributed to declines at nursing care facilities, hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Construction decreased slightly in March, with 100 jobs lost.