Lewis County sees drop in December unemployment from 2016 to 2017

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Compared to December 2016, Arkansas' nonfarm payroll employment is up by 16,100.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said in a news release Tuesday that the unemployment rate in December was 4.1 percent.

Helping that drop in December: the private sector added 6,000 jobs, led by the manufacturing industry.

Statewide, the December unemployment rate dropped slightly from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent, and nationwide, the rate fell from 4.5 percent to 3.9 percent. IN has a 63.6 percent labor force participation rate, which is higher than the national average.

The civilian labor force, the estimate of all people working or looking for work, was 26,900, down 300 from November. Most of the decrease occurred in food services (-1,900), due to a combination of seasonal factors and recent restaurant closures.

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Contractions in the labor force can be seen as signs of pessimism in the economy.

Mississippi's 4.6 percent unemployment rate is the lowest level of unemployment ever recorded in the state, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Employment in educational and health services increased by 5,800. Other services slipped by 100 jobs.

IN lost 4,100 jobs in professional and business services, and 1,900 in financial activities. Jobs in construction rose 3,100, with specialty trade construction up 1,800.

Over the year since December 2016, the number of jobs in the state increased by 17,800.