Arkansas unemployment rate up to 7.2%

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate increased by one tenth of a percentage point to 7.2% in January.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the state's civilian labor force decreased by 3,300 in January. Officials say the drop in employment mirrors the national rate, which increased to 7.9% in January.

All eleven major industries reported job losses in January in Arkansas. Government jobs saw the largest drop, at 6,100. The state attributes most of the decrease to a holiday break at public schools.

Trade, transportation and utilities jobs decreased by 5,800 - with most of the drop coming in retail trade linked to the end of the holiday shopping season.

Construction jobs dropped by 2,700 and professional and business services jobs decreased by 1,900.

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