Unemployment Rate Continues To Decrease In Arkansas

Lewis County had a rate of 8.7 percent, up from 8.1 percent last January.

The Buffalo Niagara unemployment rate jumped to 5.8 percent during January as holiday-related jobs came to an end, the state Labor Department said Tuesday.

The U.S. unemployment rate in January was 4.8 percent, little changed from December's 4.7 percent and December 2015's 4.9 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January. According to preliminary DOL data, unemployment rates were 3.0 percent in Portland-South Portland area; 3.5 percent in Lewiston-Auburn and 3.9 percent in Bangor. Only Alaska at 6.5 percent and New Mexico at 6.7 percent have higher jobless rates, according to new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in January. Offsetting those gains were a larger than expected drop in construction, down 1,700 jobs, and manufacturing, which shed 800 jobs.

Nonfarm employment, according to the department, totaled 1,003,072. The private industry segment with the most growth over the month was other services, which includes fix and maintenance, personal and laundry services and religious, civic and professional organizations.

Overall, the employment data shows that 2016 was a positive year.

Job losses occurred in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,200), Educational & Health Services (-700), Leisure & Hospitality (-500) and Professional & Business Services (-200). From January 2016 to January 2017, the state gained 123,600 private-sector jobs, not seasonally adjusted. The sector has added 597,000 jobs over the last 12 months. "We are working to ensure that these individuals receive proper severance benefits, job retraining, re-employment services and other assistance".