State Unemployment Rate Stays Put

Compared to January 2016, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased by 11,800.

According to the latest numbers from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, unemployment in the state dropped to 3.8 percent in January. He says the complete picture is one of a state economy approaching full employment.

Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington says nearly 10,000 people entered the labor force last month but only 6,500 of them found work.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.8 percent for January 2017. The Buffalo Niagara region added jobs at a 1 percent annual pace past year - the fastest pace since 1999 - according to revised data released last week by the Labor Department.

The increase in the jobless rate, which rose from 5.6 percent in January 2016 and 5.1 percent in December, was expected.

Only New Hampshire, at 2.7 percent, and Hawaii, at 2.8 percent, had lower unemployment rates than Colorado in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in January.

The commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor said she received a notice on Friday indicating 76 Merchants Bank employees will lose their jobs during a two-week period from May 12-25. Of those seeking employment, 1,585 were unemployed, 144 more than the previous month.

Statewide, 673,850 were employed and 19,700 unemployed in January for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 693,550. The national average during the same month was 4.8 percent. Average weekly earnings were up over the year by $21.08.

Employment in other service, including repair-maintenance services and membership organizations, rose by 1,900.

Monday's report won't be the last for March as February's unemployment numbers are scheduled to be released on March 24.

  • Rita Burton