The unemployment rate in Logan County dropped slightly in February, according to data released last week by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

The February jobless rate was placed at 4.5 percent, one-tenth of a percent lower than the 4.6 percent rate in January. The jobless rate in February, 2017 was 4.4 percent.

Meanwhile, labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and released recently by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, show Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.7 percent in January to 3.8 percent in February. Arkansas’ civilian labor force declined 1,794, a result of 1,811 fewer employed and 17 additional unemployed Arkansans. The United States’ jobless rate remained stable at 4.1 percent between January and February.

In Logan County, there were 8,391 people employed in February compared to 396 unemployed. February is the latest month for which county statistics are available.

BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said, “Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose one-tenth of percentage point in February, pushed up by the slight decline in the civilian labor force. Compared to February 2017, Arkansas’ civilian labor force has grown by 4,659.”

Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment rose 9,200 in February to total 1,232,100. Six major industry sectors added jobs, as four sectors posted minor declines. The largest increase occurred in government, up 4,900. Most of the addition was in state government (up 4,500), as public colleges and universities returned from the holiday break. Jobs in professional and business services rose 2,600. All gains were in administrative and support services (up 2,700), a subsector which includes employment agencies. Leisure and hospitality added 2,200 jobs. Most of the hiring occurred in food services (up 1,300), a typical seasonal expansion. Trade, transportation, and utilities reported the greatest loss (down 1,400), related in large part to seasonal declines in retail trade (down 1,000).

Compared to February 2017, nonfarm payroll jobs in Arkansas are up 2,000. Eight major industry sectors posted growth, more than offsetting losses in three sectors. Jobs in manufacturing rose 1,500. Most of the gains were in nondurable goods (up 1,100), due in large part to reported expansions in food manufacturing. Educational and health services added 1,500 jobs, all in health care and social assistance. Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities declined 2,000. Retail trade posted the largest loss (down 1,600), as the subsector continues to experience layoffs and closures. Jobs in information decreased 1,100, related to reported contractions in activities such as telecommunications and data processing-hosting.