U.S. unemployment rate falls, Arkansas’s stays the same at 4.4%

Hafiz N Nayla
A man stands in line at the Unemployment Office in Fort Smith.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the country added 943,000 in July, bringing the unemployment rate from 5.9% down to 5.4%. 

Unemployment rate by demographics: 

  • Men- 5.4% 
  • Women- 5% 
  • White- 4.8% 
  • Black- 8.2% 
  • Hispanic- 6.6% 
  • Teenagers- 9.6% 
  • Asian- 5.3% 

Despite the country lowering its unemployment rate, Arkansas stayed at 4.4%. The unemployment rate for Arkansas has stayed at 4.4% since March 2021. Prior to the pandemic, the state’s unemployment rate was 3.8%. 

Fort Smith’s unemployment rate for July hasn’t been released as of Thursday. Fort Smith’s unemployment rate was 4.4% in June, up from 4% in May.  

Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said Arkansas’s unemployment rate is staying unchanged as a result of workers moving in and out of the labor force.  

Mervin Jebaraj is the University of Arkansas Center for Business and Economic Research director.

The report showed notable gains in leisure, hospitality, local government, and business services. 

The service sector is having trouble finding workers. 

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“People that are working in the service industry, last year have been without a job for about a year. They’ve left the industry, they’ve moved on, they’re doing something else,” Jebaraj said. “When they were working in the service industry, they might have been there for five to seven years, not really thinking about what they wanted to do long term. They had time to figure out what they wanted to do and it’s not in the service industry. They’ve moved on. They weren’t going to wait 18 months and take the same job, so they’ve moved onto another job.”

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