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Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Rises to 3.4% in December

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Arkansas’ Unemployment Rate Rises to 3.4% in December

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Jan. 23, 2024) Today, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, announced Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.3% in November to 3.4% in December. The United States’ jobless rate remained stable at 3.7%.

Arkansas Civilian Labor Force Summary:

  • Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined by 1,147 in December. The number of employed in the State decreased by 3,638, while 2,491 more unemployed Arkansans began actively looking for work. Arkansas’ labor force participation rate dipped to 57.6% in December.
  • Compared to December 2022, there are 18,263 more employed and 446 additional unemployed Arkansans. The unemployment rate is the same as last December, while the labor force participation rate is up two-tenths of a percentage point.

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Job Summary:

  • In December, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased by 3,400 to a total of 1,369,000. Manufacturing (+2,300), Private Education and Health Services (+1,800), and Trade-Transportation-Utilities (+1,700) posted the largest gains. Jobs in Leisure and Hospitality declined by 3,700, a typical seasonal loss.
  • Compared to December 2022, nonfarm payroll jobs are up 14,500. The largest gains were in Private Education and Health Services (+9,200), Construction (+7,600), and Leisure and Hospitality (+3,500). The greatest over-the-year decline occurred in Trade-Transportation-Utilities (-6,100).

Arkansas Civilian Labor Force (Seasonally Adjusted)

 December 2023November 2023December 2022Change from November 2023Change from December 2022
Civilian Labor Force1,391,7421,392,8891,373,033-1,14718,709
Unemployment Rate3.4%3.3%3.4%0.1%0.0%
Labor Force Participation Rate57.6%57.7%57.4%-0.1%0.2%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey. More information about the data is available at

Arkansas Nonfarm Payroll Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted, In Thousands)

Industry Sector based on 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)December 2023November 2023December 2022Change from November 2023Change from December 2022
Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs1369.01365.61354.53.414.5
Goods Producing234.3231.2228.03.16.3
Mining, Logging, & Construction71.770.964.20.87.5
Mining & Logging5.
Specialty Trade Contractors41.641.
Durable Goods78.676.579.72.1-1.1
Nondurable Goods84.083.884.10.2-0.1
Service Providing1134.71134.41126.50.38.2
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities274.0272.3280.11.7-6.1
Wholesale Trade53.153.353.0-0.20.1
Retail Trade144.0142.8146.91.2-2.9
Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities76.976.280.20.7-3.3
Financial Activities71.971.
Finance & Insurance57.256.356.40.90.8
Real Estate, Rental, & Leasing14.714.714.80.0-0.1
Professional & Business Services150.3151.5150.8-1.2-0.5
Professional, Scientific, & Technical51.149.948.21.22.9
Management of Companies41.040.939.00.12.0
Administrative & Support Services58.260.763.6-2.5-5.4
Private Education & Health Services212.2210.4203.01.89.2
Educational Services19.619.519.20.10.4
Health Care & Social Assistance192.6190.9183.81.78.8
Ambulatory Health Care68.567.763.70.84.8
Social Assistance39.939.737.70.22.2
Leisure & Hospitality126.0129.7122.5-3.73.5
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation12.913.312.4-0.40.5
Accommodation & Food Services113.1116.4110.1-3.33.0
Accommodation Services11.311.711.0-0.40.3
Food Services101.8104.799.1-2.92.7
Other Services74.773.973.50.81.2
Federal Government22.021.620.90.41.1
State Government77.577.977.6-0.4-0.1
State Government, Educational Services31.431.831.4-0.40.0
State Government, Excluding Education46.
Local Government114.6114.6114.10.00.5
Local Government, Educational Services71.070.870.80.20.2
Local Government, Excluding Education43.643.843.3-0.20.3
Source: Monthly Survey of Employers, based on 1st Quarter 2022 benchmark. Notes: Current month’s data are preliminary; previous month’s data are revised.    

For more Labor Market Data, visit our website at

2024 Arkansas Publication Schedule

Reference MonthState Press ReleaseMSA’s & Counties**
*Indicates a Monday or Tuesday release date; All other releases occur on Friday. **Date when Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and county labor force statistics will be available on the Discover Arkansas website.


About the Arkansas Department of Commerce:

The Arkansas Department of Commerce is the umbrella department for workforce and economic development drivers. Its divisions and regulatory boards include Division of Aeronautics, Waterways Commission, Wine Producers Council, Division of Workforce Services, Office of Skills Development, State Bank Department, Insurance Department, Securities Department, Economic Development Commission and Development Finance Authority.

About the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

The mission of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is to support and secure Arkansas’ economic vitality through a highly skilled workforce by administering programs and providing services that empower employers and jobseekers. ADWS is a division of the Arkansas Department of Commerce. | Facebook: | Twitter: @ArkansasDWS

About Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures labor market activity, working conditions, price changes, and productivity In the U.S. economy to support public and private decision making.

About Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

The LAUS program produces monthly and annual employment, unemployment, and labor force data for Census regions and divisions, States, counties, metropolitan areas, and many cities, by place of residence.

About Current Employment Statistics (CES)

The CES program produces detailed industry estimates of employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls. CES State and Metro Area produces data for all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and about 450 metropolitan areas and divisions.

Posted By: Workforce Connections

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