The state's jobless rate didn't drop in February, but it didn't go up either.
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) says the rate remains at 7.6-percent.
Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Arkansas' civilian labor force increased 3,000, a result of 3,400 more employed and 400 fewer unemployed Arkansans.
At 8.3 percent, the United States' jobless rate also remained stable in February.
DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said, "Employment in Arkansas increased 3,400 this month, marking the seventh consecutive month of employment growth. There are now 21,000 more employed Arkansans than in February 2011."
Nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas rose 6,100 in February to total 1,155,400. Employment in five major industry sectors increased, while four sectors declined and two remained constant. Government gained 6,000 jobs. Growth occurred in state (+5,200) and local (+900) government, as employment levels at public universities returned to normal after the winter break. Jobs in professional and business services rose 1,400. Most of the increase occurred in professional-scientific-technical services (+1,100), largely related to seasonal hiring in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services. Leisure and hospitality added 1,400 jobs. Growth occurred in accommodation and food services. Employment in other services increased 1,200, with reported hiring in both personal-laundry services and in repair-maintenance services.
Trade, transportation, and utilities posted the largest decline (-2,700). Retail trade reported a majority of the loss (-2,600), which was mostly attributed to seasonal factors.
Since February 2011, Arkansas' nonfarm payroll jobs increased 8,900. Six major industry sectors enjoyed growth, more than offsetting declines in four sectors. The employment level in one industry remained the same. Government added 4,600 jobs, mostly at the local level (+4,400) due to expansions in public education. Employment in educational and health services rose 4,500. Most of the growth occurred in health care and social assistance (+3,600). Leisure and hospitality increased 3,700, largely related to gains in food services (+3,300). Construction added 1,700 jobs, all in specialty trade contracting. Employment in manufacturing declined 5,200. Losses in nondurable goods (-6,100) more than offset the moderate gains in durable goods (+900).