LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment held steady at 5.7 percent in May, according to labor statistics released Friday.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment held steady at 5.7 percent in May, according to labor statistics released Friday.


The state’s jobless rate last month was higher than the national rate of 5.5 percent but lower than Arkansas’s May 2014 unemployment rate of 6.2 percent.


The state Department of Workforce Services said 1.26 million Arkansans were employed and 76,800 were unemployed in May.


"Employment and unemployment both increased slightly in May, but the gains were not enough to change the unemployment rate," said Susan Price, program operations manager for the agency. "This month’s employment increase marks the 18th consecutive month of growth."


Six major industry sectors added jobs, and three saw an overall decrease in jobs in May. The biggest increase was in leisure and hospitality, which added 1,400 jobs, most of them in arts, entertainment and recreation — a typical seasonal expansion.


Trade transportation and utilities added 1,000 jobs last month, with seasonal hiring in retail trade accounting for most of the increase.


Government jobs declined by 1,100 in May. Although local government added temporary summer employment, state government jobs declined with the start of summer break at state colleges and universities.