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County jobless rate drops again

The unemployment rate in Logan County dropped to 7.2 percent in April, its lowest reading so far this year, according to data released Friday by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

April is the latest month for which county statistics are available. The April jobless rate was 0.4 percentage points below the 7.6 percent unemployment rate in the county in March.

Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in May, up slightly from the April rate which was originally reported at 7.1 percent but later revised to 7.2 percent, according to labor statistics released Friday. The state jobless rate was 0.3 percentage points below the national rate, which rose from 7.5 in April to 7.6 in May.

In Logan County, DWS reported that there were 9,000 people with jobs and 700 out of work in April. The state Department of Workforce Services reported that 1.24 million Arkansans were employed last month and 97,000 were unemployed.

The jobless rate in the county has steadily declined this year. In January, the rate was 8.4 percent. It dropped to 7.9 percent in February. In April 2012, Logan County’s unemployment rates was 7.4 percent.

In May, employment decreased in six major industry sectors, offsetting gains in five sectors. The biggest decrease occurred in professional and business services, with 2,000 jobs lost, a majority of them in professional-scientific-technical services. DWS officials cited seasonal declines in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services.

Jobs in educational and health services declined by 1,700, with 1,200 of the jobs lost in health care and social assistance.

Employment in trade, transportation and utilities rose by 1,900, with 1,200 of the jobs added in retail trade, a typical seasonal expansion. Construction also experienced a seasonal increase of 1,400 jobs.

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