Arkansas' unemployment rate increases to 7.1 pct

Arkansas' unemployment rate increases to 7.1 percent but remains below national rate

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas' unemployment rate crept up by one-tenth of a percentage point in December to 7.1 percent.

The Department of Workforce Services said Friday that Arkansas' civilian labor force decreased by 8,500 in December. A spokeswoman notes that Arkansas' unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 7.8 percent.

Last month, seven major industry sectors posted job losses. The greatest drop came in leisure and hospitality, with jobs decreasing by 3,000. Officials say the decrease is a typical seasonal trend in accommodations and food services.

Government jobs decreased by 900, primarily because of the start of winter break at public universities. Educational and health services jobs decreased by 800, with much of the decrease coming in child day care services and youth services.

Manufacturing added 300 jobs in December.

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