Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment data fell three-tenths of a percentage point from 4.9% in December 2020 to 4.6% in January 2021, according to a report released March 15 by the Services Division. of the Arkansas workforce. The unemployment rate for December 2020 has been revised upwards from 4.2% to 4.9%.
Labor force data are produced by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and published by the ADWS.
According to the ADWS report, Arkansas’ civilian workforce shrank by 3,360, due to 3,635 fewer unemployed workers and 275 more employed Arkansans. The unemployment rate in the United States fell by four tenths of a percentage point, from 6.7% in December 2020 to 6.3% in January 2021.
Susan Price, BLS program operations manager, said: “The annual review of Arkansas civilian workforce data shows that the impact of COVID on employment was not as significant as initially estimated. Employment has been revised upward for each month of 2020. Based on updated information, Arkansas’ unemployment rate peaked at 10.0% in April 2020 from 10.8% initially calculated.
Non-farm payroll employment in Arkansas fell by 18,000 in January to a total of 1,245,800. Eight major industrial sectors posted declines, with losses in some sectors related to seasonal factors. Jobs in trade, transport and utilities are down 7,100. Most of the contraction occurred in retail trade (-5,500), largely due to the end of the l temporary vacation hire. Public employment fell by 3,500. Job losses in state administration and educational services (-1,800) accounted for much of the decline and were partly related to the winter holidays in public colleges and universities. Leisure and hospitality jobs are down 2,700.
All of the losses were reported in accommodation and food services (-2,700). Notable reductions were also reported in professional and business services (-2,100) and education and health services (-2,100).
Compared with January 2020, nonfarm payroll employment in Arkansas is down 36,200. Declines were recorded in nine major industrial sectors. Leisure and hospitality employment fell by 12,600, mostly in accommodation and food services (-11,700). Public employment is down 8,300. Losses occurred across all sub-sectors, with local government reporting the bulk of the reduction (-5,900). Employment in education and health services declined by 7,900. Health care and social assistance posted the bulk of the loss (-7,000). Manufacturing employment fell by 3,700, mostly in non-durable goods manufacturing (-3,300). Weaker contractions occurred in professional and business services (-2,800), other services (-1,300) and information (-1,100).