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County’s jobless rate rises

After declining every month this year, the unemployment rate in Logan went up in May, the latest month for which county statistics are available from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

The county’s jobless rate in May was 7.6 percent, an increase of four-tenths of a percent from the 7.2 percent reading in April.

Meanwhile, Arkansas’ unemployment rate remained at 7.3 percent in June for the second month in a row, according to labor statistics released last Friday. The state jobless rate was 0.3 percentage points below the national rate, which held steady at 7.6 percent in June.

The state Department of Workforce Services reported that 1.23 million Arkansans were employed last month and 97,700 were out of work. In Logan County, the department reported that 8,950 people had jobs and 750 were unemployed.

Statewide, employment decreased in four major industry sectors, offsetting gains in six. One sector remained stable.

The biggest decrease occurred in government with 6,000 jobs lost, 4,300 in state and 1,800 in local governments. The job losses, according to DWS officials, reflect the seasonal decline in public school employment.

Educational and educational services saw 1,100 jobs lost in June, with more than half of that, 600 jobs, due to seasonal fluctuations at private schools. Employment in other services rose by 2,000. Gains were largely reported in membership associations and organizations.

Jobs in leisure and hospitality rose 1,300, a typical seasonal expansion, officials said.