The jobless rate in Logan County inched up a bit in February, the latest month for which county statistics are available. According to the state’s Department of Workforce Services, Logan County’s unemployment rate in February was 4.4 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from January’s 4.2 percent.

According to the data released last week, there were 8,624 people employed in Logan County in February and 397 unemployed. The February 2017 rate was almost a percentage point below the 5.2 percent jobless rate for February, 2016.

Arkansas’ civilian labor force rose 1,436, a result of 2,464 more employed and 1,028 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point in February, breaking last month’s record low of 3.8 percent. Dropping to 3.7 percent, this month’s unemployment rate is a new record low for Arkansas.”

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment rose 15,600 in February to total 1,233,800. Seven major industry sectors posted gains, while three sectors declined. Professional and business services added 6,300 jobs. A majority of the increase was in administrative and support services (up 5,800). Jobs in government rose 5,000. Gains in state (up 4,600) and local (up500) government were attributed to the re-opening of public schools after the winter break. Educational and health services added 2,600 jobs, mostly in health care and social assistance (up1,600). Leisure and hospitality increased 2,000, due in part to expansions in food services (up 1,100). Employment in construction rose 1,200, with reported hiring in specialty trade contractors (up 1,000)

Compared to February 2016, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas increased 17,400. Growth was posted in seven major industry sectors, with minor declines in four sectors. Jobs in educational and health services rose 8,400. Sizable gains were reported in health care and social assistance (up 6,600). Professional and business services added 5,100 jobs, spread throughout all three subsectors. The largest growth was in administrative and support services (up 3,300). Manufacturing increased 2,100, with hiring in nondurable goods (up 3,500) more than offsetting the losses in durable goods (down 1,400). Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 1,700, all in accommodation and food services. Government posted the largest decrease (down 1,600), with losses in both local (down 1,000) and state (down 600) government.