LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' unemployment rate rose slightly in May, increasing from 7.2 percent in April to 7.3 percent in May, according to a report released Friday by the state Department of Workforce Services.
Department spokeswoman Kimberly Friedman said in a statement that the civilian labor force in Arkansas increased by 2,400.
"Although the unemployment rate increased, employment rose 600 this month, marking the second month of employment gains," Friedman said.
The report shows an increase of 1,900 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities industries and an increase of 1,400 construction jobs. Those gains were offset by 2,000 fewer jobs in professional and business services and a decline of 1,700 jobs in the educational and health services fields.
The national unemployment rate also rose one-tenth of 1 percent, from 7.5 to 7.6 percent.
Since May 2012, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas have increased by 3,100, the department said, with the trade, transportation and utilities sector adding 12,400 jobs; retail trade adding 9,700; and transportation, warehousing and utilities adding 3,000.
Jobs in the other services sector — such as repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and membership organizations — declined by 2,300. Construction decreased by 2,000 jobs, related to the completion of various projects, the department said.
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