Unemployment rises slightly in July


LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percent in July to 7.4 percent, according to labor statistics released Monday.

The state’s jobless rate last month was identical to the July 2012 rate of 7.4 percent and the current national unemployment rate.

Bernadette Coleman, program operations manager with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, said 1.2 million Arkansans were employed in July and 97,800 were unemployed.

Six major industry sectors posted job losses last month, more than offsetting gains in four sectors. The bulk of the job losses, 13,900, were in state and local government and represent seasonal closure of public schools and universities. Jobs in other services decreased 1,400.

Jobs in professional and business services rose 2,000, with a majority of the gains, 1,200, in professional, scientific and technical services, largely in architectural and engineering services. Educational and health services added 1,300 jobs, with an increase of 2,500 in health care and social assistance, more than offsetting the seasonal losses of 1,200 jobs in educational services.