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Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Remains Stable at 3.7% in January

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Zoe Calkins, Communications Director, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services,

Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Remains Stable at 3.7% in January

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Mar. 11, 2024)— Today, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, announced Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable at 3.7% between December 2023 and January 2024. The unemployment rate for December 2023 was originally estimated at 3.4% but has now been revised up to 3.7%. The United States’ jobless rate remained at 3.7% for the third consecutive month.

Arkansas Civilian Labor Force Summary:

  • Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose by 506 in January. Employment increased 460, while unemployment rose by 46. The labor force participation rate remained stable over the month at 57.5% (December 2023 was revised down from 57.6%).
  • Compared to January 2023, there are 8,529 more employed, while 9,875 more Arkansans are unemployed and actively looking for work. The State’s jobless rate is now seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than last January, but the labor force participation rate has grown by two-tenths of a percentage point.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

  • In January, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas declined by 17,700. Seasonal decreases were reported in Trade-Transportation-Utilities (-4,200), Professional and Business Services (-3,800), Government (-3,100), Private Education and Health Services (-2,700), and Leisure and Hospitality (-2,100).
  • Compared to January 2023, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs are up 10,700. Notable growth was posted in Construction (+7,100), Private Education and Health Services (+5,500), and in Government (+2,900). Professional and Business Services (-3,100) and Manufacturing (-3,000) both reported losses.

Annual Data Revisions

Civilian Labor Force:

In accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arkansas’ Civilian Labor Force (CLF) estimates are undergoing annual processing. The purpose of annual processing is to incorporate more complete and accurate information into the estimation process, including updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
All levels of data—State, counties, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Local Workforce Development Areas, and cities—are being revised. The Statewide CLF data was revised back to January 2019 and is now available at Updated sub-state CLF estimates are still being produced and are scheduled for publication on April 19, 2024 on the Discover Arkansas website and at All sub-state CLF data for Arkansas will be revised back to January 2019. More information concerning annual processing is available here.

Nonfarm Payroll Jobs:

In accordance with the same guidelines, the Current Employment Statistics program also re-estimated the Nonfarm Payroll Job series to include more comprehensive and precise information into the calculations. Statewide estimates were revised back to April 2021. The MSA revisions are listed below:

  • Revised back to January 1990- Little Rock-North Little Rock- Conway MSA; Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA; and the Fort Smith MSA
  • Revised back to April 2021- Hot Springs MSA and Pine Bluff MSA
  • Revised back to April 2022- Jonesboro MSA

All revised Nonfarm Payroll Jobs data have been updated on the Discover Arkansas website.
Effective with the release of January 2024 estimates on March 11, 2024, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program will implement a new weight smoothing procedure for state and metropolitan area employment data. More information on the new weight smoothing procedure is available here.

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