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State’s unemployment rate ticks up to 7.1%

By Katie Doherty

This article was originally published January 18, 2013 at 9:11 a.m. Updated January 18, 2013 at 9:14 a.m.

Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.1 percent in December, up from 7 percent the previous month, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services said Friday.

Citing the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a Workforce Services spokesman said that the state’s civilian labor force decreased by 8,500 in December, with losses led by the leisure and hospitality and government sectors.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate increase was spurred by the decline in employment, which brought down the civilian labor force total. The jobless rate is seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than in December 2011 and is still significantly lower than the national rate,” Department of Workforce Services spokesman Kimberly Friedman said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the United States’ joblessness rate remained stable at 7.8 percent.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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