Arkansas unemployment rises to 7.1 percent

(KATV) - New numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor shows Arkansas' unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.1 percent in December.

That represents a one-tenth of a percentage point bump from November but is lower than December 2011 when the jobless rate was at 7.8 percent. The national unemployment rate held steady from November to December at 7.8 percent.

Department of Workforce Services Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said, "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."

Click here for a breakdown of what areas of the economy improved and which areas suffered.