Up to 5.3 Percent in July

The jobless rate in Logan County rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 5.3 percent in July, according to data released last week by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. July is the latest month for which county statistics are available.

According to DWS, the jobless rate in Logan County was 5 percent in June. There were 9,222 people employed in Logan County in July and 491 unemployed.

The unemployment rate in Arkansas in July was 3.9 percent, according to data released late last month by the agency.

Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined 2,430, a result of 2,700 fewer employed and 270 more unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate was unchanged in July and August, remaining at 4.9 percent.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ jobless rate remained stable between June and July, mirroring the trend seen at the national level. Compared to July 2015, the unemployment rate is down one and three-tenths of a percentage point.”

Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas declined 16,700 in July to total 1,215,000. Six major industry sectors decreased, more than offsetting gains in three sectors.

Government posted the largest drop (down 12,300). Seasonal losses occurred in local (down 10,600) and state (down 1,700) government, related to summer break at public schools. Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities declined 2,300. A majority of the decrease was in retail trade (down 1,400), attributed to reported losses at various retail establishments.

Employment in leisure and hospitality is down 2,300. Most of the contraction occurred in food services (down 1,800), related in part to temporary shutdowns in school cafeterias and contract services. Construction added 1,200 jobs, related to seasonal hiring and on-going large-scale projects.

Compared to July 2015, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll jobs increased 21,300. Growth was reported in eight major industry sectors, while two decreased.

Professional and business services added 9,100 jobs. Gains occurred in all three subsectors. Jobs in educational and health services rose 6,600. Most of the growth was reported in health care and social assistance (up 5,700), an on-going employment trend.

Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities increased 4,000, mostly in retail trade (up 3,000).

Leisure and hospitality added 2,400 jobs. A majority of the growth occurred in food services (up 1,800). Jobs in manufacturing declined 1,300. Losses in durable goods (down 2,400) more than offset gains in nondurable goods (up 1,100). Mining and logging lost 1,200 jobs, attributed to recent layoffs and closures.