LITTLE ROCK — For the second month in a row, Arkansas’s unemployment rate remains at 7.3 percent, according to labor statistics released Friday.
The state Department of Workforce Services reported 1.38 million Arkansans were employed in August and 100,700 were out of work. The total civilian labor force in the state dropped 3,600 in August, a result of 3,000 fewer employed and 600 fewer unemployed in the state.
Arkansas’ unemployment rate for August was 0.8 of a percentage point lower than the state’s unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in August 2011. The national unemployment rate in August dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.1 percent.
"Reductions in both employment and unemployment made for a smaller civilian labor force," said DWS spokeswoman Kimberly Friedman. "This collective combination of decreases produced no change in the unemployment rate. There are still 11,000 fewer unemployed Arkansans than in August 2011."
Five major industries reported increases in August, more than offsetting declines in other sectors.
The biggest increase last month was in government jobs which grew by 4,900. Included in the increase were 2,900 jobs in local government and 1,600 in state government. DWS attributed the increase to public schools hiring for the 2012-13 school year.
Employment in education and health care services rose by 1,700 jobs in August. While some of that increase was attributed to private school employment, a majority was in social assistance, 1,400.
Construction added 1,500 jobs, a result of hiring in heavy and civil engineering construction, building equipment contractors and other specialty trade contractors.
Manufacturing posted the biggest decline in jobs in August, down 1,200. The decline included both durable goods, down 700 jobs, and nondurable goods, down 500 jobs.