Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 5.0 percent, Elmore County at 5.6 percent and Cullman County at 5.7 percent.
Compared to January 2016, Arkansas' nonfarm payroll job totals are up 11,800.
The good news included the record low unemployment rate and the monthly survey of about 800 households in the state that showed a decline of about 6,000 unemployed Arkansans compared with January past year, Pakko said. It is noteworthy that three contiguous states, Nebraska and the Dakotas, are three of the five states with lowest unemployment rates.
"Our unemployment rate rose because almost 10,000 more people entered the labor force last month, and about 6,500 of them found work", Washington said. The number of unemployed, defined as those who had actively sought a job in the past month, fell by 1,600 from December on a seasonally-adjusted basis and is down by 12,200 over the past year.
Simplified, the numbers indicate that while there are more people looking for jobs, there also are more who already have them than this time past year.
"Our unemployment rate rose because almost 10,000 more people entered the labor force last month, and about 6,500 of them found work".
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Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington pointed to new workers entering the workforce for influencing the unemployment numbers.
Arkansas also boasts a lower unemployment rate than the nation as a whole.
Alaska's rate had been worse than New Mexico's, but it rose slightly in January, leaving New Mexico behind, according to the Department of Labor. Of those seeking employment, 1,585 were unemployed, 144 more than the previous month.
Overall, the employment data shows that 2016 was a positive year.
On the bright side, average weekly earnings grew $6.53 from December to $789.66 in January. Over-the-month, both initial claims and weeks claims also grew by 10.5% and 9.9% respectively in January 2017.
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