LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas recorded its lowest unemployment rate of the year in November, according to labor statistics released Friday.

The state’s unemployment rate for November was 7 percent, down from 7.2 percent in October and nine-tenths of a percentage point lower than the November 2011 rate of 7.9 percent, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.

"Decreases in the number of employed and unemployed caused a decline in the size of the civilian labor force, which led to a drop in the rate this month," said DWS spokeswoman Kimberly Friedman. "Arkansas’ unemployment rate has trended downward so far this year, ranging from a high of 7.6 percent in January and February to a low of 7 percent in November."

The U.S. unemployment rate last month was 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in October and 8.7 percent in November 2011.

DWS reported that 1.3 million Arkansans were employed in November and 95,900 were unemployed.

Six major industry sectors reported job losses in November. The biggest decrease was in leisure and hospitality, with 2,300 jobs lost in administrative and support services.

Jobs in construction decreased by 1,500, a typical weather-related drop.

Four major industry sectors reported job increases. The biggest growth occurred in trade, transportation and utilities, with 4,900 jobs added, 4,000 of them in retail trade and attributed to the start of the holiday shopping season.