Arkansas Business: State unemployment follows national trends

    7:12 AM, Mar 19, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Stocks ended little changed after concern that a bailout plan for the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus would re-ignite the European debt crisis.

    The Dow was down nearly 110 points at one point yesterday before recovering. European markets also recovered from an early slide and closed with only modest losses.

    This, as concerns persist about the euro-region's lingering debt crisis, despite a strong rally in stocks since the start of the year that pushed the Dow to record highs.

    Arkansas unemployment follows national trends

    Here in Arkansas, the latest on the state's unemployment rate shows Arkansas following national trends.

    The state Department of Workforce Services said Monday that Arkansas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.1 percent in December to 7.2 percent in January.

    During that same period, the national jobless rate also increased one-tenth of a percentage point, reaching 7.9 percent in January.

    Workforce Services Communications Director Kimberly Friedman said the increase in the Arkansas rate was not unexpected and mirrors the trend seen at the national level.

    5 major industry sectors post growth

    The report showed five major industry sectors posting job growth from the same time last year.






    Construction posted the greatest loss, down by 2.700 jobs, with declines reported in highway, street and bridge construction, related to project completions.

    Tax cuts making through Ark. legislature

    And at the state Capitol, tax cuts are starting to make their way through the Legislature, despite Gov. Beebe's warning that Arkansas can't afford them.

    On Monday, the Arkansas House passed HB940 to exempt farmers from sales taxes on utilities for several types of farm buildings.

    Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter, a Republican, says the House and Senate are working to develop between $50 million and $60 million in tax cuts in each chamber.

    Beebe, a Democrat, has said lawmakers calling for more tax reductions will need to identify what cuts they would make in the state's $4.9 billion budget to pay for them.

    (Source: Arkansas Business)

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