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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Arkansas’ jobless rate dips to 4.4%, tourism sector continues to post most job losses

Arkansas had 18,549 fewer employed in March compared to March 2020, with 60% of the job losses coming from the state’s hard-hit tourism sector.

ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas had 18,549 fewer employed in March compared to March 2020, with 60% of the job losses coming from the state’s hard-hit tourism sector, according to Friday’s (April 16) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The state’s jobless rate in March was 4.4%, down from 4.5% in February and below the 3.8% in March 2020. The number of employed in Arkansas during March was an estimated 1,299,702, down 18,549 jobs compared with March 2020.

The biggest sector losses were in Leisure & Hospitality (11,100 fewer jobs), Government (down 8,600 jobs), and Education and Health Services (down 5,800 jobs). Manufacturing posted the largest year-over-year gains with 1,600 added jobs, and the Construction sector posted a year-over-year job gain of 1,000 jobs. The March numbers are preliminary and subject to revision. The report marked the first full year of COVID-19 impacts on the economy.

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