LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 4 percent in March, according to labor statistics released Friday.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 4 percent in March, according to labor statistics released Friday.


The rate, down from 4.2 percent in February, is the lowest the state has seen since the U.S. Department of Labor began using its current methodology in 1976, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said.


The state’s jobless rate was below the national rate for March of 5 percent, which was up from the February national rate of 4.9 percent. It also was below Arkansas’ March 2015 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.


DWS said 1.3 million Arkansas were employed and 55,007 were unemployed in March.


Six major industries reported overall increases in employment, and four reported decreases last month. The largest increase was in professional and business services, which added 3,300 jobs, 3,000 of them in administrative and support services, a subsector that includes employment agencies and landscaping services.


Leisure and hospitality added 1,200 jobs in March, an increase that was largely attributed to seasonal hiring.


Manufacturing decreased by 1,400 jobs last month, 1,200 of them in durable goods manufacturing. The losses were attributed in part to contractions in various industries, including transportation equipment manufacturing and fabricated metal product manufacturing.