The jobless rate in Logan County returned to near-record low in March, according to the state’s Department of Work Force Services. The unemployment rate in March was 3.6 percent, nearly a full percentage point lower than the 4.4 percent recorded in February.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas unemployment rate in March was 3.6 percent, a new record low. March is the latest month for which county statistics are avalable.

According to DWS, there were 8,724 people holding jobs in March in Logan County and 324 without jobs. The March rate is the lowest of the year, so far. In March, 2016, the county’s jobless rate was 4.7 percent.

Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.7 percent in February to 3.6 percent in March. Arkansas’ civilian labor force gained 3,188, a result of 4,428 more employed and 1,240 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “The unemployment rate decline to 3.6 percent marks a new record low for Arkansas, breaking last month’s previous record low of 3.7 percent. Arkansas’ jobless rate has fallen each month since December, after remaining fairly stable throughout most of 2016.”

Leisure and hospitality added 2,800 jobs, mostly in accommodation and food services (+2,300). Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities rose 2,300. A majority of the expansion occurred in retail trade (+1,200), typical hiring for the spring shopping season. Employment in professional and business services increased 2,000. Most of the gains were in administrative and support services (+2,200). Educational and health services decreased 1,300. Losses were reported in health care and social assistance.

Compared to March 2016, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment is up 16,600. Growth was posted in seven major industry sectors, as four sectors declined. Employment in educational and health services rose 7,000, mostly in health care and social assistance (+4,900). Professional and business services added 5,800 jobs, with gains posted in all three subsectors. Jobs in manufacturing are up 2,600. Hiring in nondurable goods (+3,700) more than offset losses in durable goods (-1,100). Small increases were reported in trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,600), leisure and hospitality (+1,500), and other services (+1,300).